Amid allegations that a major chunk of tur dal (pigeon pea) procured by the state government is being sold at a profit by traders posing as farmers over the past two months, the state government has begun a crack down on them.
The government on Tuesday has ordered district administrations to identify fake farmers by verifying 7/12 extracts and satellite images of their land. If discrepancies are found, the traders will be punished, said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Farmers and organisations representing them have alleged that a major chunk was sold by such traders who bought the stock at much lower than the minimum support price (MSP).
The tur was bought at Rs3,000 to Rs3,500 a quintal and sold at the MSP of Rs5,050 a quintal at centres set up by the government.
“The traders, in connivance with government officials, have purchased the tur from farmers at a much lower rate of Rs3,000 a quintal and later sold it at the government centres. The farmers are forced to sell the stock to traders as they get their money immediately against the waiting period of few weeks when sold at the procurement centres,” said Abhijit Falke, president of Bhumiputra Sangharsh Vahini, an organisation representing farmers
The government had received complaints and has asked the district administration to book such traders for black-marketing.
Fadnavis, who was apprised about the situation during a meeting with ministers from three departments, announced random checks.
Fadnavis said, “We have asked the Maharashtra Remote Application Centre (MRSAC) to retrieve satellite images of the ‘farmers’ who have sold the stock in large quantities to check if they had harvested that much crop on the land owned by him. We are also checking the 7/12 extracts of the farmers who have sold their produce on the centres. If discrepancies are found, strict action would be taken against the miscreants”.