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Officials accused of conniving with private traders, merchants
Party warns of launching agitation if problems are not addressed immediately
DAVANGERE: The district unit of the Janata Dal (Secular) on Tuesday criticised the district administration for what it described as the failure to make payments to farmers 24 days after procuring paddy from them. It demanded that cheques for the value of paddy procured be handed over to farmers at the time of procurement.
B.M. Sathish, working president of the party, and T. Daskariyappa, president of its district unit, told presspersons here on Wednesday that Deputy Commissioner P.K. Vastrad had stated that the district administration had received funds for procurement of paddy at Rs. 1,130 a quintal, the minimum support price fixed by the Government. A large number of farmers had sold a huge quantity of paddy at the procurement centres in the past 24 days, but none of them had been paid.
Farmers who had invested a huge amount on raising the crop had their own commitments to financial institutions, said Mr. Sathish.
If the farmers had sold the paddy to merchants or commission agents at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee yard, they would have got their money immediately. But they would have a lower price and incurred huge loss. However, some farmers, who realised the procedural wrangles at the procurement centres, had sold their produce at a lower price to meet their immediate requirements, he said and urged the district administration to immediately release the payment to farmers.
Mr. Daskariyappa criticised what he termed “too many restrictions” imposed on farmers selling their paddy at procurement centres. The paddy was not being accepted without farmers showing the “pahani” and various other documents.
Mr. Daskariyappa alleged that the district administration had connived with private merchants and commission agents and were creating confusion at procurement centres so that farmers invariably turned to open market to sell their produce.
The two leaders cautioned that a serious agitation would be launched if the district administration failed to set right the anomalies at procurement centres and arranged to make spot payment to farmers. Party's youth wing leader J. Amanulla Khan and others were present.
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