Khattar announces state benefits for 'arhtiyas', sore over direct MSP payments to farmers

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Chandigarh, Apr 8 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday said all 'arhtiyas' whose commissions and labour wages are pending since the last procurement season will get an interest on the delayed payment of the amount.

Khattar made this announcement while also seeking to assure farmers of a hassle-free and time-bound crop procurement.

The chief minister offered this state benefit to Haryana’s ‘arhtiyas’ who had earlier said they would not take part in the wheat procurement process in protest against the state government's insistence on direct payment to farmers' accounts for crops procured from them.

The chief minister said the state government recently had a meeting with ‘arhtiyas’ during which various important issues were discussed and ‘arhtiyas’ were assured that they would not face any problem during the procurement.

'The process of payment of interest will start from today and necessary directions for the same have been issued to the Food and Civil Supplies Department,' the chief minister said while presiding over a review meeting of the Rabi procurement process.

The meeting was held through video conferencing with all deputy commissioners and officers concerned.

“Arhtiyas (commission agents) have also been asked to get their accounts verified,” he added.

Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala and Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister J P Dalal were also present in the meeting, an official statement said.

During the meeting, deputy commissioners apprised the chief minister of the “smooth procurement” being done in grain ‘mandis’ of the state.

Khattar also asked officials to keep holding regular talks with ‘arhtiyas’ to ensure that they do not face any problem.

The state government had earlier said the payments for the crops procured would be made directly into the verified accounts of farmers.

Meanwhile, Khattar also directed the deputy commissioners to ensure that farmers do not face any trouble in bringing their crops to the ‘mandis’.

He asked them to make proper arrangement for smooth procurement.

Among those present in the meeting included Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan, Chief Principal Secretary to CM D S Dhesi, Additional Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner (Revenue and Disaster Management Department) Sanjeev Kaushal and Additional Chief Secretary (Power) P K Das. PTI SUN RAX RAX