Food Minister Piyush Goyal Announces Direct Bank Transfer of MSP for Punjab Farmers

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Union Food Minister, Piyush Goyal announced on Twitter that farmers in Punjab will now become beneficiaries of the DBT scheme where they will be able to sell their produce at MSP and will have the money wired directly into their bank accounts.

“In Punjab, now farmers will get the price of their produce sold on MSP directly in their bank accounts. Like many steps taken by the government, small and marginal farmers will be benefited by this decision,” tweeted Goyal.

“The benefit of this will also be available to the farmers who cultivate the land on rent. Due to transparency in the system, they will not be misled by anyone, and these farmers will also get the full price of the produce… This is a major change in the interest of farmers since independence.” he added.

Meanwhile, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal last week said the state government will implement the

Centre’s mandated instruction on direct bank transfer of MSP to farmers from the current season. Badal had a lengthy discussion with Goyal last week.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had called a meeting with ‘arthiyas’ (commission agents) on Friday to discuss a new mechanism ahead of wheat procurement that commenced from April 10.

Punjab procures wheat and rice at MSP on behalf of the central government under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Currently, MSP to farmers in Punjab is paid through ‘arthiyas’, unlike in other states where MSP is directly sent to farmers’ bank accounts.

Besides Badal, Punjab food minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, PWD minister Vijay Inder Singla and Mandi Board Chairman S Laal Sing were present in the meeting. Senior officials from Union Food and Agriculture Ministries were also present.

State governments were asked to implement DBT to farmers in 2018. By 2019, almost all states started implementing it except for Punjab.

The Punjab Finance Minister in the meeting raised concern about piling stock of foodgrains in the state and requested for an early liquidation so that there is space for the new crop.

“Government of India has given assurance that it will take foodgrains stock out of Punjab,” he told PTI and added the Centre has also assured it will release the dues worth Rs 15,000 crore earliest to the state.

The minister also informed the Centre that the state will implement the distribution of fortified rice via Public Distribution System and welfare schemes like Midday Meal Scheme.

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