Automated Price Support Scheme Implementation
Price Support Scheme (PSS) is a scheme run by Government of India, which offers Minimum Support Price (MSP) for a produce, to protect farmers from exploitation. If government’s intervention is not there, it is often observed that price of the produce shall go down drastically in harvest season as many farmers, due to resource crunch having low stocking capacity, sell their produce to middle men. As soon as farmers sell their produce to middleman, they hoard the produce and the price increases to benefit the middlemen. Neither farmers nor consumers are generally benefitted by high/low prices of the essential goods. Under the PSS, government offers to procure the produce at a MSP, at fixed locations, generally by Mandis, PACSs, etc. Whenever markets offer less price to the farmer, farmer has a choice to sell his/her produce to government at MSP and save from distress sale. Usually it is the responsibility of Government of India to run the scheme. GOI runs this scheme through Food Corporation of India (FCI). In DeCentralized Procurement (DCP), some states are given responsibility to procure produce on behalf of Government of India. GOI reimburses the expenditure involved in the procurement and receives the produce that is more than the State’s requirement. Paddy, Wheat, Makka, etc are some of the grains that are procured in PSS. Chhattisgarh is a DCP state, which procures nearly 60 lakh tons of paddy at MSP from about 12 lakh farmers, at about 2000 procurement centres. Chhattisgarh has computerized the whole paddy procurement chain in 2007 with an objective of quick and hassle free payment to farmers. The system has been operational in Chhattisgarh for the last 10 years. Many states have visited Chhattisgarh and states like MP have taken the source code and customized the code for their state. The project has received many awards like National e-Governance Award, e-India Award, CSI-Nihilent Award, PC Quest Best Implementation Award, in addition to prestigious Prime Minister Award for Excellence in Public Administration to the team that implemented the system. Effort is to design a system as a product used for procuring any produce under PSS.