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Finance Ministry declines Agriculture Ministry's request to allow farmers buy seeds with old notes
The Agriculture Ministry had requested the Finance Ministry to allow farmers to purchase seeds using the old notes but the latter has turned down this request.
In a meeting held on Tuesday, the Finance Ministry refused to accept the request by the Agriculture Ministry to permit farmers to purchase seeds using old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Radha Mohan Singh, the Agriculture Minister had sought this exemption similar to exemptions given to airlines, railways, petrol pumps and hospitals. He had demanded that all government-run seed agencies should sell seeds for rabi crop until November 24.

Singh had also said that if such an exemption is provided, this would allow the farmers to purchase certified quality seeds from public sector National Seeds Corporation (NSC) rather than falling back upon low-yielding seeds saved from their earlier produce. The minister had also argued that in case farmers are compelled to use the seeds saved from earlier produce, this would lower the national output.

But the Finance Ministry is reported to have told the Agriculture Ministry that if farmers are allowed to use the old notes in this way, this might lead to farmers using this as a means to offload black money.

Among a number of relaxations given to farmers, the government has also allowed them to withdraw up to Rs 25,000 per week.

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