On April 10, Punjab had agreed to pay the MSP payments directly into farmers’ accounts via Direct Benefit Transfer. The Centre has been trying to implement the system across India for a long time, but Punjab was adamant about not implementing the same. Earlier, Haryana also came on board and agreed to use EAT (Expenditure Advance Transfer) to pay the farmers leaving only Punjab who wanted to pay the farmers via Arhtiyas (middlemen).
Essentially, Punjab government had held up the implementation of the DBT for farmers several times since 2018. With the Punjab government finally implementing the directions of the central government, India has managed to enforce ‘One Nation, One MSP, One DBT’.
All farmers to now get MSP payment through DBT: Piyush Goyal
On April 12, Union Minister Piyush Goyal took social media to announce that the farmers in Punjab will get MSP payments directly in their accounts like other farmers across the country. He said, “In Punjab, now farmers will get the price of their produce sold on MSP directly in their bank accounts. Like other initiatives by PM Modi for the benefit of the farmers, this step will also benefit small and marginalized farmers.”
पंजाब में अब किसानों को MSP पर बेची गयी उनकी उपज का दाम सीधा उनके बैंक खातों में दिया जायेगा।— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) April 12, 2021
किसान हितों के लिये प्रधानमंत्री @NarendraModi जी द्वारा उठाये गये अनेकों कदमों की तरह, इस निर्णय से छोटे और सीमांत किसान लाभान्वित होंगे।
He further added that those farmers who cultivate the land on rent would also get payments directly in their bank accounts under the DBT system. “The system is transparent, and farmers should not be misled by anyone. The farmers will get the full price of the produce,” he added.
पंजाब में किसानों को उपज का दाम सीधा उनके बैंक एकाउंट में मिलने के साथ ही पूरे देश में यह व्यवस्था लागू हो गयी है।— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) April 12, 2021
अब देश भर के किसान, उपज को MSP पर बेचने के बाद पैसा सीधा अपने खातों में पायेंगे। आजादी के बाद से किसान हित में लाया गया यह एक बहुत बड़ा परिवर्तन है।
Now farmers across the country, after selling the produce on MSP, will get money directly in their account. “This is a major change in the interest of the farmers since independence,” he added.
With this announcement, Minister Piyush Goyal confirmed that all farmers in the entire country are now under the umbrella of DBT and hence, every farmer will now get their MSP payment directly in their bank account, without the involvement of middlemen.
Punjab has delayed the implementation several times since 2018
As per the directions of the Ministry of Finance, all registered agencies were asked to implement EAT (Expenditure Advance Transfer) module of PFMS (Public Financial Management System) by June 15, 2018. At that time, the ministry said that in case anyone failed to implement the system, the government will not release the funds to the agency to procure the produce.
Punjab did not comply with the orders and kept on asking for an extension. The state insisted on making payments of farmers’ Minimum Support Price (MSP) through intermediaries or Arhtiyas. The ministry extended the date of implementation of the system for Punjab several times. The last extension was till March 31, 2021, for KMS 2020-21 season.
According to the sources in the ministry, the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) has repeatedly pursued the Punjab government to implement the guidelines of the Government of India since 2018. During a meeting that was held on February 23, 2021, the state government agreed to implement online payment to farmers directly through e-mode from RMS 2021-22, and the Punjab government also confirmed that they would integrate their online payment system with PFMS to track the flow of the funds to the farmers.
Though the government of Punjab failed to implement a direct payment system, DPFC has released full payments for Admins and Arhtiyas for KMS 2019-20 and 90% of the payment for RMS 2020-21 and KMS 2020-21. The remaining 10% will be released once the state fully implements DBT for MSP payments in the state.