SAD asks Cong Govt not to victimise but incentivise farmers
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday asked the Congress Government to immediately stop victimising farmers who were burning paddy stubble in despair and instead incentivise them by offering them a minimum compensation of Rs 4,000 per acre to stop this practice.
“It is shocking that the Congress Government is penalising farmers and initiating cases against them for burning paddy stubble instead of offering compensation to them besides implementing solutions to tackle this problem,” said former Minister and SAD general secretary Bikram Singh Majithia.
He said that it was condemnable that the Government has approached farmers with warnings and even threatened to withdraw subsides given to them in case they burn their stubble this season.
“Instead of doing this, the Government should immediately incentivise straw management by registering farmers who undertake not to burn stubble and give them compensation of Rs 4,000 per acre,” he added.
Stating that the Punjab peasantry was already under stress and had become more so recently due to the Congress Government’s failure to implement the promised Rs 90,000 crore farm loan waiver, Majithia said that at this juncture, the Government needed to seek farmers’ cooperation rather than entering into a confrontation with them.
“More than 250 farmers have committed suicide in the last six months. They cannot manage the crop residue on their own under any circumstances. The only way forward is to assist them in tackling this problem,” he said.
Majithia said that instead of doing this, the Government was indulging in an eye wash through statements as well as passing on the buck to the Centre.
Asserting that no funds were being released to cooperative societies to buy equipment including straw reapers, Majithia said that the Government should also give needed machinery at subsidized rates to farmers willing to manage paddy straw.
He said that the Government should also encourage establishment of more bio-mass plants to create a market for paddy straw.
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