The bonus announced by the Chhattisgarh government for the farmers failed to give momentum to the Dhanteras-Diwali market that traders were expecting in the poll-bound state.
Over 1.3 million farmers in the state are the beneficiaries of the bonus. They would be eligible to get Rs 300 per quintal for the paddy that state-run agency would procure at the minimum support price (MSP) in the ongoing kharif season 2018-19.
Chhattisgarh is among a few states in the country procuring paddy from the farmers at MSP. This year, the state government has set a target to procure 7.5 million tonnes of paddy.
The farmers in the state, that goes to the polls this month in two phases, were the biggest beneficiaries. They were eligible to get Rs 2,070 for a quintal of A-grade and Rs 2,050 per quintal for the common grade. The traders in the rural areas were expecting a big deal this Diwali as the state government was pumping Rs 2.4 billion in the rural economy.
“The impact could not be seen in the Diwali market as farmers are reluctant,” Vinay Chopra, a trader in Mungeli---about 100 km from Raipur said. The farmers were not having cash but the traders were expecting that they would spend in advance as they would get a good amount on paddy sale, Chopra said, adding that but the calculation failed.
The paddy procurement in the state had started on November 1 and payment is immediately transferred to beneficiary online.
Chhattisgarh Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Jitendra Barlota admitted that the Diwali market did not gain thrust that they were expecting. “The business came down about 20 to 30 per cent as compared to last year,” Barlota said.
People are only completing the conviction of purchasing on Dhanteras; but the trade is in very small volume, Barlota explained. Even an ensuing election has cast its shadow as the poll panel has banned carrying cash after a limit.