Seed shops refuse to accept old notes

Even though the Centre has said that old currency notes can be used to buy seeds, farmers in Uttar Pradesh are facing a tough time as shop owners said that they have not received a written order yet. Apart from seeds, farmers said that a similar relief must be made so they can buy fertilizers.

The Centre had recently relaxed its demonetisation policy by allowing farmers to buy seeds for the rabi season using Rs. 500 notes.

“After the announcement, I went to buy seeds but the shop owner did not accept the old notes saying that it is just an announcement by the government and no written order has been passed. He said that till an order is received, they will not accept old notes,” said Chandrabhan, who lives in Nagla village in Bulandshahr.

No fertilizer either

“The Centre has made several announcements related to relief package to rural areas, but we have not got any relief. The cash problem still exists. We have no cash or material for farming. Our vendor has refused to accept old notes,” said Kalwa Sharma, from Ladhana village in Bulandshahr.

Farmers said that relief also needs to be provided to buy fertilizers. “Without fertilizers, our crops will be damaged. Many farmers who have seeds are not going to sow as farming without fertilizers will only invite loss. The government should have also come up with a plan to ensure proper supply of fertilizers,” said Mr. Sharma.

Dairy farmers

Dairy farmers,too, are also having a tough time in the absence of cash.

“Our milk production has been badly affected after demonetisation. We do not have money to feed our animals. Milk production and supply have gone down,” said Sachin Tyagi, a native of Sayana village in Bulandshahr.

“There is confusion over whether old notes will be accepted for seeds or not. We have not gone to the shops yet to buy seeds because of this,” said Brahmpal Rathi of Bagu Santoshpur village in Baghpat.

Vendors, meanwhile, said they are apprehensive about accepting old notes. “Fearing Income Tax raids or legal action, we are avoiding accepting old notes. The picture is still unclear. The government is tough and we do not want to invite any trouble,” said a shop owner, requesting anonymity.

Bulandshahr District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh said that he had chaired a meeting with banks representatives and asked shops selling seeds to accept old notes.

“We have formed a committee to look into the matter. It will ensure cash and seeds supply to the farmers in the rural belt,” Mr. Singh said.

(The writer is a freelance journalist)

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 7:57:48 PM |

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