Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 6
Even as the Punjab Government has started testing software for making direct payment to farmers, it remains firm on its stand that the arhtiya system should continue.
Agents threaten stir
If the Punjab Government switched to the DBT system, the arhtiyas will go on strike. — Vijay Kalra, Punjab Arhtiya ASSN Chief
The government is expected to procure nearly 130 lakh metric tonnes of wheat this season starting Saturday.
Sources said a virtual meet was held between Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu today, but it remained inconclusive.
Goyal reportedly told Ashu that Punjab was the only state that was not making direct payment to farmers and the law could not be changed for one state. The sources say the Centre could defer the demand for uploading land records on the portal, but is unlikely to give more time to implement the DBT system.
Ashu maintained it was best to stick to the arhtiya system. On testing software to make direct payment to farmers, Ashu said they had to be ready with plan B.
Another meeting between the two sides is scheduled for Thursday in Delhi.