No Plan Ahead to Eradicate ‘Arthiyas’ from System; Data Reveals

NEW DELHI: The Modi government has released its date regarding food subsidy given to the farmers which is a record of Rs. 125217.62 crore this year and expected more of Rs. 297196.52 crore will be released during this financial year towards food subsidy of which Rs. 116653.96 crore is reflected in PFMS towards Punjab. In respect of Haryana approximately Rs. 24841.56 core would be benefiting farmers.

E-mode of payment ensures that all participants including farmers, Arthiyas, mandis etc. receive their payments directly online in the chain in order to ensure transparency, tracking the trail of payments made and benefits for all. This is not a replacement of the current APMC system. It only strengthens transparency and elimination of leakages.

E-mode of MSP payment is already in force across India, Govt of India has been trying to ensure the same in Punjab and Haryana at least since2015-16. These efforts of Govt of India far predate farm acts. Digital mode of financial benefit transfers Or payments by Government agencies to beneficiaries has been highly successful and appreciated tool of transparency which has been instrumental in eliminating leakages in delivery of benefits.

E-mode of payment has already been adopted partially by Haryana and Punjab. e.g. a part of payment for this paddy procurement was done through e-mode only.

Direct online payment to farmers predates the three farm laws. In Punjab, Payment of MSP was paid to the farmers through Arthiyas and in Haryana, FCI made Payment of MSP directly to farmer’s bank accounts through online mode, whereas state agencies made payment of MSP to the farmers partly through Arthiya and partly directly to farmer’s account through online mode as per option given by the farmers in e-Kharid portal.

The government is regularly pursuing with State Govts of Punjab & Haryana for ensuring direct online payment into farmer’s accounts since 2015-16. However, both the State Govts. have been routinely approaching the central government for granting exemption and seeking time for implementation of direct online payment initiative. The government has therefore, directed State Govt. Or Punjab and Haryana to ensure online payment to farmers through e-mode from upcoming season and that no further relaxation on this account will be accorded.

The State agencies have to also ensure the use of Expenditure Advance Transfer module (EAT) of Public Financial Module System (PFMS) while making payment, as Mandated by the Ministry of Finance, GOI. The State Govts. have to integrate their online payment system with PFMS. The online payment system shall necessarily have the feature of online registration of farmers and online payment to them as mandated by GOI.

Online Procurement System ushers in transparency and convenience to the farmers through proper registration and monitoring of actual procurement. All States have also been encouraged to procure the produce of the farmers online.

Through e-procuring module deployed by procuring Agencies, farmers get latest/updated information regarding MSP declared, nearest purchase centre, date on which the farmer has to bring his produce to the purchase centre etc. This has not only reduced the waiting period for delivery of stock by the farmers but also enables the farmer to deliver stock as per his convenience in the nearest mandi.

E-mode of payment ensure all value chain participants including farmers, Arhityas, Mandis etc get their payments directly instead of getting paid through another value chain participant (e.g. Arhitya paying the farmer). This ensures transparency and benefits for all. This is not a replacement of the current APMC system.