There has been a substantial increase in cashless payments made to farmers in dairy sector post demonetisation, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.
Milk producers are being brought under the ambit of banking system and the number of bank accounts rose to 56.43 lakh from 15.59 lakh, it said.
There are total 1.6 crore milk producers in the country. In a statement, the ministry said Rs 828.39 crore payments have been made directly to milk producers' bank accounts after demonetisation till January 18, up from Rs 51.28 crore before the note ban.
This is as per the data submitted by the National DairyDevelopment Board (NDDB) and 23 major state co-operative dairy federations, it added.
"It is high time to accelerate the opening of bank accounts of all those unbanked milk producers to make it cashless and digital sooner than later," the ministry said. This will ensure transparency and benefit milk producers in multiple ways, it said.
The Central government is periodically monitoring the situation for easing payments to milk producers across the country, it added. There are about 1.70 lakh dairy co-operative societies at the village level having 1.6 crore milk producers affiliated with 218 milk unions. bout 850 lakh litres of milk is procured per day, of which co-operative sector procures about 425 lakh litres while about 425 lakh litres is procured by the private sector.