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AGRICULTURE

ASSOCHAM suggests issuance of TR by FCI to mitigate farmers’ problems
Wednesday, 28 December, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has suggested that agencies such as the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and other Central and state agencies issue transferable receipts (TRs) against the procurement of farm produce in order to mitigate the problems arising out of demonetisation, which are being faced by farmers and those engaged in allied activities, including poultry farming and horticulture.

The chamber stated that the government should instruct FCI and other Central agencies, including NAFED, to procure a lot of farm produce and issue the farmers/growers TRs, which should be honoured at farm-related tools. It added that the TRs could become tools akin to Paytm and be aggregated by one nodal agency, preferably FCI.

“With the help of the state governments, the TRs should be allowed to trade without much hassles, maybe upto a limit of Rs 50,000. Since these instruments are to be originated at the FCI level, it would be easy for the Central government to guard against its misuse for exchange of scrapped money. In any case, most of the scrapped notes have returned into the banking system and now the problem largely relates to shortage of new currency,” ASSOCHAM added.

“Likewise, the TRs can be issued by some agencies like Tea Board and Fisheries boardsandsome of the retail chains can then be roped in for honouring the same.It would also work on the modelofSodexo lunch coupons,” said D S Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM.

He added, “Even state-owned companies like the State Trading Corporation should join FCI in this operation, while MMTC Ltd, which had remained engaged in fertiliser imports, can be useful in reaching out to farmers directly or through cooperative stores for the supply of urea or other nutrients in exchange of the TRs.”

“We urge the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the agriculture ministry, the finance ministry, the commerce ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to work on this model in a matter of a few days, along with the state agencies,” ASSOCHAM stated.

It added that some of the marginal farmers and growers of horticultural produce were facing the problem of selling their produce,and unscrupulous elements were taking advantage of the situation.

“Extraordinary situations demand extraordinary solutions. This model of TRs should be tried, so that the farm distress is mitigated and wide support is forthcoming for the bigger war against black money and corruption,”Rawat said.
 
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