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Badal asks CM to release Rs 2,500 per acre as promised to farmers to manage paddy stubble

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to fulfill his responsibility towards the ‘annadaata’ by releasing Rs 2,500 per acre to all paddy growers for managing paddy stubble even as he condemned attempts to penalize farmers for government failures.

In a statement here, the SAD President said the Congress government had not only refused to give compensation of Rs 100 per quintal to farmers for managing paddy stubble as mandated by the Supreme Court last year, but had not kept any provision in the State budget to offer this compensation this year also. “This speaks of the utter insensitivity of the State government which is using threats and even FIRs to force farmers to do its bidding but is not ready to facilitate them at all. The SAD demands the government clear last year’s compensation backlog and release funds in advance to farmers this year after taking undertakings from them to ensure paddy stubble is managed as per the directions of the apex court”.

Stating that the Congress government was in contempt of the apex court, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal said the court had clearly stipulated that the State should not wait for the Union government to come up with the compensation and should take measures to do the needful on its own. He said after failing to offer compensation to farmers, the Congress government registered 1,700 cases against farmers for burning stubble last year. “This year the Congress government is seeking to abrogate its responsibility to farmers by claiming they can take machines needed to manage stubble from custom hiring centers free of cost. It is a known fact that these centers can manage only a fraction of the paddy stubble in the State and that the government is again befooling the apex court as well as the farmers of the State”.

Mr Sukhbir Badal also lambasted the proposal made in the apex court to penalize farmers by withholding part of the minimum support price (msp) extended to them for procuring paddy till the completion of a verification process to determine whether they had managed it or not. He said it was preposterous that such anti-farmer proposals were being made instead of ensuring implementation of the apex court orders of November 2019 which had protected the interests of farmers by directing State governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to compensate them.

Asking the chief minister to fulfill his responsibility towards State farmers, Mr Badal said the Congress government had impoverished youth who had purchased paddy straw management equipment last year. “The youth hoped that the machines would be used extensively since the government had announced that it would compensate farmers for managing paddy. But when the government reneged on this promise and the farmers refused to use their services they suffered huge losses”. He said even now the State government was relying on a sham statement that it would allow rent free use of machinery from custom hiring centers to run away from compensating farmers for managing paddy stubble.

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