Uklana arhtiyas protest against govt for allowing sarpanches to procure crop - Hindustan Times

Uklana arhtiyas protest against govt for allowing sarpanches to procure crop

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Hisar
Apr 22, 2020 10:40 PM IST

They demanded to adopt the old method of purchasing

Arhtiyas (commission agents) of Uklana on Wednesday registered their protest at the local grain market against the government for authorising sarpanches to buy wheat and mustard from farmers.

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The protesters demanded to adopt the old method of purchasing, where farmers would bring their produce to commission agents and the latter used to sell the crop to purchasing agencies.

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Dhoop Singh, head of the arthiyas, said, “We are holding a shirtless protest because the same would happen to us quite soon if farmers do not approach us to sell their crop.”

He claimed that farmers were willing to bring their crop to commission agents, but the government was introducing new rules daily. “A commission agent always helps a farmer by buying his produce. He earns a little by selling the crop further. But now, the government has decided that sarpanches would start purchasing foodgrain. Does a sarpanch really know what kind of crop he should buy and would he be able to pay the farmers on time? Dhoop Singh asked.

A farmer from Bithmara village, Bhale Singh, said their condition was also not good. “Where would a farmer go? After harvesting, what a farmer needs is money, so that he can prepare his land for the next cycle of crop. We do not have enough space to store our produce. On top of that, we are only allowed to visit purchasing centres if we get the SMS,” he added.

The Uklana grain market wore a deserted look with many arhtiyas closing their shops in protest.

Agitation lifted in Karnal

Karnal: Protesting arhtiyas in Karnal district on Wednesday ended their strike and joined the procurement operations. On Tuesday evening, the commission agents had declared an indefinite strike alleging that farmers were not being allowed to bring their produce to the mandis.

The protest was lifted following an assurance by Karnal SDM Narender Pal Malik. There also were some reports of technical issues being faced while accessing ‘Meri Fasal Mera Byora’ portal. The agents claimed that the portal was not showing names of all registered farmers, especially those having joint land holdings.

“We have ended our strike and decided to support the procurement operations as the government has rectified the portal and now, farmers associated with all commission agents would be able to sell their produce,” said Rajnish Chaudhary, president of Karnal Commission Agents’ Association.

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