Modi Govt. Masterstroke to Bypass Middlemen ; Centre Directs Punjab Haryana to make Online MSP payment - Agrovista Profits Latest Agriculture News and Updates

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Modi Govt. Masterstroke to Bypass Middlemen ; Centre Directs Punjab Haryana to make Online MSP payment

Masterstroke to Bypass Middlemen ; Centre Directs Punjab Haryana to make Online MSP payment
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Amid the continued farmers protest lead largely by Punjab and Haryana farmers, the Central government said that it's directed both the states to make a sure online payment to farmers through the electronic mode from the approaching procurement season.
The wheat procurement season for FY22 will start within the next few weeks. The procurement is completed at the Centre-fixed Minimum Support Price (MSP).
In a presentation made by the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs, the govt said that the method of bio-authentication of farmers bringing their produce for procurement by state and central agencies has been started in Uttar Pradesh, wherein states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh have shown interest in replicating the model.
Both the measures are ostensibly meant to chop down the role of middlemen in the procurement of cereals and foodgrains by state and Central agencies, although none of the officials, including Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal, have overtly said so.
The minister was highlighting the achievements of departments of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs within the last one year and also explain the provisions associated with FY22 Union allow them.
Goyal, meanwhile, also said that the Central government at the present doesn't have any proposal to boost the Central Issue Price (CIP) of wheat and rice sold through the ration shops under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). CIP is that the rate at which the grains are sold through the ration shops and under the Act has been fixed at Rs 3 per kg for rice, Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 1 per kg for coarse cereals.
The Economic Survey tabled in Parliament recently had advocated raising the CIP of wheat and rice to lower the food subsidy burden which has risen sharply within a previous couple of years.
The government said that among the varied reform measures being planned for the Food Department, the Central government has plans to monetize the assets of Food Corporation of India (FCI) and therefore the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC).
Both the firms will strive to mobilise private investments in new and modern storage facilities, the presentation showed.
“We have engaged the Centre permanently Governance to seem at the whole structure of the Food Corporation of India and provides suggestions to enhance its working and therefore the report is predicted from them soon,” 
He said the Warehousing Development and regulatory agency (WDRA) also will be strengthened within the months to return.
Goyal said that the Centre is committed to strengthening the mandis and that the Budget has expanded the electronic-national agriculture market (e-NaM) scheme and also included mandi storages under the ambitious Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) of Rs 1 lakh crore.
On food prices, the minister said that prices of most commodities have come in check . He said despite allowing larger import of potatoes to chill down rates, the costs have come down despite not much imports being taken.
On mounting sugarcane dues, the minister said that much of last year’s dues have already been settled and even for this year the dues are becoming cleared regularly and more momentum will come once mills start exporting sugar with a subsidy which can get transferred into the checking account of farmers.
He said that FY22 Budget had made provision of Rs 4,150 crore for various sugarcane schemes, which is quite 3 times above the Rs 1,270 crore made in Budget Estimates of FY21.
Also, steps are being taken for diversion of excess sugar and utilization of foodgrains to ethanol for blending with petrol, which can help in timely payment to sugarcane farmers.

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