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Farmers in Punjab apply for Direct Benefit Transfer but many still prefer payments through Arhtiyas

Mixed reviews on direct payment on a crop by farmers

Swati Sharma
payment of wheat crops
Payment of wheat crops

Many farmers in Patiala have applied for direct payment but still they prefer the payment via arhtiyas (commission agents) to procure their grain at markets. Many of them do not know the nitty-gritty of the newly introduced payment system. They are also facing issues of the slow lifting of grain and unavailability of gunny bags, among others. 

A small farmer from Tana village of Fatehgarh Sahib, situated near the new grain market here, said the new payment system is helpful to farmers. “Sanu bahuta nahi pata”, he quips, adding that the government’s decisions are all in favor of the people. The farmer owns 5 acres.  However, all farmers who reach the grain market do not have the same opinion. 

Bhagwan Singh of Jhambo Kheri of Patiala was indecisive. “There are advantages and disadvantages both of the new system. Most farmers understand, but some might use the opportunity to avoid paying the commission agents their outstanding amounts from the previous procurements or loans. The latter might not get paid in time,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Kewal Singh of Jassowal village has also applied for DBT (direct benefit transfer). He said: “We have applied for direct payment but want that the arhtiyas should be taken care of. They are known as personal ATMs of farmers, and the relationship built on trust that is there for years should continue.” 

Amarjit Singh of Assomajra village is also uncertain about the new payment system though he has applied for it online. But he has more issues also to discuss. “We brought the crop here, but the ‘bardana’ (gunny-bags) was not available initially. The administration needs to make prior arrangements.” 

Harminder Singh of Lachkani village has also been waiting for ‘bardana’. “We brought some produce earlier also. But I have been waiting for gunny bags for days, he says. “The commission agent system was beneficial for the farmer and arhtiya both. We have applied under the new payment system, but only time will tell how things turn out,” he added. 

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