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Punjab farmers to enjoy e-payment

27 October 2010

Hemant Singh

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The Punjab government, along with FCI is all set to introduce e-payment system for the farmers who sell their produce to the government. Payment will be credited online to the commission agents within 48 hours.

Chandigarh: Waiting for days to get the payment of their produce is now a passé for farmers in Punjab, as the state government has implemented an online payment system.

Punjab Foodgrains Corporation (Pungrain) and Food Corporation of India (FCI) have already brought the e-Payment system into effect and the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation is  expected to implement the system in the next season.

The Food and Civil supplies Department has tied up with all major nationalised and private sector banks so that commission agents get the payment for the foodgrain procured from the farmers within 48 hours, which is in compliance with the state government’s directive.

Pungrain is expected to make a direct online payment to the tune of Rs 5000 to commission agents for procurement of around 4.5 million tonne of paddy through its 648 mandis.

“FCI is operating in over 248 mandis and for the procurement of approximately 13.7 million tonne of paddy, we will be making the payment to commission agents only electronically under the financial accounting package,” FCI Senior Regional Manager Nilkanth S Avhad said.

“TV screens have been installed in over 42 mandis so that commission agents can see when their payment will be cleared by the banks, bills submitted by them, bills approved by auditors and value of purchase,” a senior Food and Civil supplies Department official informed.

“The aim is to bring in transparency in the whole system of payment. Ultimately, farmers will be benefitted from this exercise. Details of over 45,000 commission agents with bank details, PAN numbers and other information has been recorded. At present, 50% of commission agents are being paid electronically, by next fiscal it would be cent per cent,” the official added.

In 2006, the Punjab State Farmers Commission had recommended for direct payment to farmers and commission agents through banks. In 2009, the recommendation was brought into effect but commission agents protested the move and the scheme didn’t make any headway.

However, this year with all mandis having bank base and details of commission agents the scheme was given a major push.

Source : iGovernment

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