New Delhi: Consequent upon the central government’s decisions of demonetization, certain unintended impacts have been observed especially in the sectors thriving upon sheer cash transactions. In this regard, non-availability of funds to the co-operative banks for making payments to milk producers by dairy co-operative against the milk supplied by them came to the notice of the Government.
Responding promptly to the prevailing situation of reported payment problems, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr Radha Mohan Singh has regularly reviewed and directed to take appropriate action to alleviate the problems. Meetings with Mother Dairy, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Fed (GCMMF) /Amul, Delhi Milk Scheme and other State Co-operative Dairy Federations are taken at regular intervals.
In order to take stock of the prevailing situation, the Secretary Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Mr Devendra Chaudhry has accordingly convened a series of meetings and initiated actions for streamlining the payment system to Milk producers and even sale of milk to consumers through cashless transactions primarily.
GCMMF/Amul had been specifically directed to ensure 100 percent milk producers accounts to be opened by 30th December, 2016. Similarly, other co-operatives have been directed to ensure the opening of 100 percent accounts of milk producers/farmers by 30th January, 2017.
Specific instructions have been issued to all the agencies such as National Dairy Development Board, Mother Dairy, Delhi Milk Scheme and all state Dairy co-operative federations for ensuring direct payment to milk producer’s bank account at the earliest. Low penetration of nationalized banks and co-operative bank accounts in rural areas need adequate financial support with appropriate safe guards.
It is to be noted that there are 1.70 lakh Dairy Co-operative Societies (DCS) at village level having 1.6 crore milk producers affiliated with 218 milk unions. About 850 lakh litres per day Milk is procured totally, of which co-operative sector procures about 425 lakh litres per day and about 425 lakh litres per day is procured by private sector. The value of the milk procured by Village level DCS is to the tune of rupees 120 crore per day. For weekly and 10 days payment cycle the substantive amount is to be disbursed to lakhs of milk producers spread over varied geographical areas.
Using the window of opportunity opened by the demonetization decision, it is high time to accelerate the opening of bank accounts of all those unbanked milk producers to make it cashless and digital sooner than later. Eventually, transparency saving habits, financial enclosure etc. would be benefiting milk producer in multiple ways, said the ministry in the statement.
The situation of easing the payment to milk producers is being reviewed and monitored periodically by the Central Government.
As per information received from NDDB and 23 major State Co-op dairy federations, the status of cashless payment to milk producers is as below:
- The percentage of farmers with bank accounts has increased from 49.27% to 63.42%.
- The cashless transaction to farmers after demonetization has increased from 23.82% to 72.25%.
- Due to close follow up, now only 27.75% farmers are being paid through cash, balance through bank accounts. Further that, the sale of milk has gone up by 2.81% in December 2016 as compared to December 2015 and the overall sale of milk from April- Dec 2016 has gone up to 328.91 lakh litres per day as compared to 321.43 lakh litres per day in April- Dec 2015.
The ministry claims that it is evident from the above facts that situation regarding making cashless payment to the farmers has considerably improved over last two months and there is no negative impact of demonetization.