Maharashtra makes Aadhaar mandatory to avail fertiliser subsidy, will preven exploitation of loopholes, says govt

Mumbai: Maharashtra agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar on Friday announced that farmers will have to disclose their Aadhaar number while purchasing fertilisers through Point of Sale machines at the dealers for availing subsidy.

The subsidy on fertilisers purchased would be then deposited in the farmer's bank account.

This system will be implemented from 1 November.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Farmers won't need to have a debit or credit card to purchase as of now, they can pay in cash. But their Aadhaar will be entered in the PoS machine nonetheless.

A senior IAS officer said this system will prevent diversion of subsidised fertiliser (which is meant for agriculture) for industrial use or exports.

"Total consumption of subsidised fertilisers in the state is 60 lakh tons, of which 33 lakh tons is used during the Kharif season while 27 lakh tons is used in the Rabi
season. There are 20,988 fertiliser dealers in the state, and everyone has been given PoS machines with proper training. Without Aadhaar number, farmers will not get the subsidy on fertilisers," the minister said.

"Most farmers have been enrolled for Aadhaar. If we found someone is missing, every tehsil office has provisions to enroll. Farmers can submit enrollment number for the time being (if Aadhaar application is in the process)," said Bijay Kumar, principal secretary, state agriculture ministry.

Kumar said in the existing system, dealers can divert subsidised fertilisers, meant only for farmers, for industrial use or for exports.

"Estimates in the past stated that around 20 percent of fertilisers were diverted for industrial use because they were available at cheaper (subsidised) prices," he said.

"With Aadhaar registration at PoS, the government will learn how much fertiliser a farmer has purchased and of what type. The government will deposit the subsidy amount based on the PoS entry," the officer said.

Updated Date: Oct 28, 2017 09:34 AM

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