BENGALURU: The Union Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday approved Karnataka's appeal to implement Price Support Scheme (PSS) for procurement of green gram during the Kharif season 2018-19. A maximum of 23,250 metric tons of green gram in Karnataka will be procured within 90 days, providing some relief to farmers growing pulses who have been facing distress with falling prices. The Centre's approval of providing support price for green gram procured from Karnataka comes after prices fell below the fixed MSP of Rs 6,975 per quintal.
According to the Economic Survey of Karnataka for the year 2017-18, 1.15 lakh tonne of green gram was produced in the state in 2016-17 while the number was cut down to 0.93 lakh tonne in 2017-18 Kharif season. Green gram farming was taken up in 3.79 hectares in 2017-18, according to the government.
"Central nodal agencies shall ensure only the procurement of fair, average quality of green gram," said a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.
Central agencies like NAFED, SFAC, Food Corporation of India and NCCF have been appraised of the Centre's decision to begin the procurement process. Payment will be made for the procurement after the submission of warehouse receipts by state procurement agencies within 15 days of the procurement process. Disposal of the stock will begin within 15 days from the last date of procurement by central agencies. "Any liability arising on account of carryover cost/holding cost of a procured commodity beyond the period of six months shall be borne by central agency," the state's order reads.
The ministry has made it clear that the state will have to provide a revolving fund for 15 days of procurement cost. The state has been instructed to ensure payments within three days strictly to Aadhaar-linked bank account of farmers.