The long wait for payments for nearly three crore farmers in Telangana State will be a thing of the past soon after selling their produce to government agencies, thanks to a new online paddy procurement process.
``For the first time, we are implementing the mandatory online payment process for the present Rabi season and there will be no manual process,’’ Rajat Kumar, Commissioner Civil Supplies and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government of Telangana told Business Line here today.
The paddy procurement in the State, which follows a decentralised procurement programme, had commenced last month and will continue up to September under the Rabi season.
As part of the online process, an android devise will be used to buy paddy from a farmer which captures his details such as name, Aadhar card and Jan Dhan accounts number, among others.
``When transaction completes, an alert will be sent through proper platforms to the State Bank of India which process the payment instantly and sends money to the beneficiary account in 48 hours,’’ the official said.
In the system being followed till now, every thing was manual and those papers were used to process the payment resulting in delays in payment to farmers besides allowing the middlemen to go for corrupt practices. ``Our idea is to take recourse to technology which helps farmers’ welfare and enhance administrative efficiency,’’ he said.
A pilot on online procurement was implemented in the Kharif procurement which ended in March. Out of a total of 3.5 lakh transactions we had in Kharif season a little less than 10 per cent were online. But now, we have made it mandatory everywhere,’’ Rajat Kumar said.
There are about 2,000 paddy procurement centres in the 10 districts of Telangana. While half of them are managed by the women groups remaining were operated by primary agricultural societies and others
In the Kharif season, there was record procurement of 15.2 lakh tonnes of paddy despite prevailing drought conditions in the State covering 2.8 crore beneficiaries. The requirement for public distribution and others is about 22 lakh tonnes per year.
The procurement target for Rabi has been set at 9 lakh tonnes. ``We have already procured 3.2 lakh tonnes and are quite comfortable,’’ Rajat Kumar added.