In order to mitigate the problems of farmers and those engaged in allied activities like poultry farming and horticulture, arising out of the demonetization, the ASSOCHAM has suggested issuance of Transferrable Receipts (TRs) by agencies like the Food Corporation of India (FCI), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and other Central and state entities against procurement of the farm produce.
“In the first place, the government should instruct FCI and other central agencies like NAFED to procure a whole lot of farm produce and issue the farmers/growers TRs which should be then honoured at all the farm related stores…….These TRs can become some kind of Paytm tools and be then aggregated by one nodal agency; preferably FCI,” the ASSOCHAM said.
It said with the help of the state governments, the TRs should be allowed to trade without much hassles, maybe upto a limit of Rs 50,000. Since these instruments are to be originated at the FCI level, it would be easy for the Central Government to guard against its misuse for exchange of scrapped money. In any case, most of the scrapped notes have returned into the banking system and now the problem largely relates to shortage of new currency.
“Likewise, the TRs can also be issued by some agencies like Tea Board, Fisheries boards, Jute Boards and Rubber Boards and then some of the retail chains can be roped in for honouring the same. It would also work on the model of Sodexo lunch coupons “, said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat.
He said with most of the products being decanlised , even state owned companies like the State Trading Corporation should join the FCI in this operation, while the MMTC which had remained engaged in fertilizer imports can be useful in reaching out to farmers directly or through cooperative stores for supply of urea or other nutrients in exchange of the TRs.
“We urge the Prime Minister’s Office, the Agriculture Ministry, the Finance Ministry, Commerce Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India to work on this model in a matter of few days, along with the state agencies,” the chamber said.
It said some of the marginal farmers and growers of horticulture produce are facing the problem of selling their produce with the unscrupulous elements taking advantage of the situation. “Extra ordinary situation demands extra-ordinary solutions; so this model of TRs should be tried so that the farm distress is mitigated and wide support is forthcoming for the bigger war against black money and corruption”, Mr Rawat said.