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The DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) issue deserves thorough study and debate with retrospective effects and its future implication with reference to MSP (Minimum Support Price) given to farmers, CCL  (Cash Credit Limit) and performance of RDF (Rural Development Fund) and its inappropriate usage/spending, breaching  the defined parameters of each fund and its implied financial transactions.

I am sure such a study would make startling revelations;   as to how the policy makers of Punjab and the bureaucrats at the helm, holding key positions in the echelon of power has exploited the secret doors of the State Craft and abused the loose ends of the financial institutions over the years.

With the misapplication of their cunning minds, the sleuth of selected bureaucrats, worked with excessive desire, especially to possess and grab greater chunks of the plunder with great cupidity, connived with Ministers and even directly with the Chief Minister.

The decay started erupting when the strength of the ‘steel frame of the administrative system’ , the Indian Administrative Services, began crumbling by renouncing administrative ethics and values of morality in human behavior. The so-called steel frame that was created to serve India began to behave as rulers, ironically the servants assumed the role of ‘Masters’ and this mindset stealthily crept up and peaked up all over ‘the Steel Frame’ and thus  the system of Public administration fell prey to morally degraded attitudes .

As a matter of case study, I’m exalted to mention here pertinently, that things became horribly nastiest when the Punjab Government, led by S. Parkash Singh Badal pledged the entire annual receipt of RDF (Rural Development Fund) 4,200 Crore approximately, for five years to Punjab National Bank and drew loan of 20,000 Crores to be adjusted against the receipt of the RDF.

The amount of 20,000 Crore was utilized for other purposes, not defined under the parameters of RDF. Now the Government of India has taken strong notice of  illusionary tactics of the Punjab politicians and reduced the percentage of RDF from 3% to just 1% courtesy, an iniquitous  element including men and women at the helm of the affairs of the State.         

The deep study would reveal as to how the entire network was thoroughly corrupted that pertains to the purchase and storage of food grains and it’s the greed of politicians and bureaucrats in connivance with commission agents ultimately paralyzed, Punjab’s robust procurement  system.

The complicity and deadlock over the DBT, between the State and Central Government has to be resolved, expeditiously by activating confidence building measures. But it’s logically wrong to articulate in the media that Arhtiyas or commission agents have been helping the subsistence of the farmers for decades.

We vehemently denounce this misplaced impression. Yes it’s true to some extent  that Arhtiyas or commission agents have been lending money to the farmers for buying inputs, this facility was not at all  extended as goodwill gesture or charity; its done by Arhtiyas or commission agents , under the strict conditions and also as part their business deal that too on highly exorbitant rate of interest which is beyond 24% whereas Arhtiyas or commission agents borrow the same money from the Banks against their cash limits at 12% sometime even less than this. This cruel aspect of financial deals with the farmers, should also not be forgotten in the entire conflict.

Punjab Government should immediately identify the unscrupulous element among the Arhtiyas or commission agents who smuggled paddy and wheat from UP and Bihar at a much lower price than MSP and sold the stuff in the State like Punjab where MSP was applicable.

They made false and face exaggerated entries in their books against the name of the farmers and made staggering 700 Crore profit by deceiving the system and betraying the genuine benefits of the MSP. The State Government must put in place the punitive measures against such rouge elements and the licenses to do business of all such Arhtiyas or commission agents must be canceled forthwith, who misused the MSP facility and the robust procurement system of Punjab.

About the author:
Bir Devinder Singh

Bir Devinder Singh The writer, Bir Devinder Singh is a former deputy speaker of Punjab legislative assembly. He is an avid writer and a speaker. He started his political career from All India Sikh Students federation and later joined the congress party. He was elected as MLA twice and joined Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) in 2019.

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