Farmers yet to be paid for managing paddy stubble - ECAS Punjab

Farmers yet to be paid for managing paddy stubble

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Ajay Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 21

Even as paddy transplantation is in full swing in the state, the state government has failed to provide the compensation of Rs 2,500 per acre in the accounts of marginal farmers who didn’t burn paddy stubble last year.

Avtar Singh (33), of Lohian block—who formed Sohal Khalsa Farmer Group—and purchased machines to dispose of paddy residue, said, “After the compensation was announced, I along with other famers purchased costly machines at subsidised rates and disposed of crop residue in our fields. We ensured that nobody indulged in stubble burning and got the forms filled from farmers to claim compensation. We have not received any payment to date.”

In November 2019, following the guidelines of the Supreme Court, the Punjab Government announced to provide the compensation to those farmers whose landholdings do not exceed five acres, haven’t burnt paddy straw and grows non-basmati crop.

For seeking the compensa tion, farmers were directed to submit a self- declaration form issued by the Agriculture Department. Lakhwinder Singh, a farmer from Khusropur village in Jalandhar (West), said, we had exhausted our savings to purchase costly machinery.“After announcing the compensation, subsidy on machines was reduced from Rs 8,00,000 to Rs 3,68,000. We purchased the machines by forming groups. Our only hope of recovering money through the compensation seems shattered. Around 600 litres of diesel is used to mix crop residue in five acres. Harjinder Singh—who formed the Dasmesh Agriculture Society— claimed that farmers of Punia village in Shahkot, didn’t even got the forms for seeking compensation.

District Agriculture Officer (DAO) Surinder Singh said we didn’t received funds from the government to disburse the same among eligible farmers.

Kahan Singh Pannu, Secretary, Agriculture Department, said he would verify the matter as some anomalies were found last year. He said the state government had released Rs 25 crore in 2019 for the management of paddy straw.

from The Tribune

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