Farmers have almost finished with marketing of Basmati crop during this season, however, agricultural department yet to pay them the promised subsidy for increasing area under direct sowing of Basmati in district to reduce area under water consuming paddy crop.
The agriculture department had announced Rs 7,500 per hectare subsidy for direct sowing of basmati in the district for 40 clusters of 100 hectares each to encourage farmers.
According to the official record of the department, area under paddy cultivation in Muktsar district has decreased by 24% during this Kahrif season.
The area under paddy reduced from 98,117 hectares during 2012-13 to only 74,500 hectares during 2013-14 in Muktsar. Whereas, area under basmati has increased from 20,000 hectares to 36,000 hectares in same period.
Interestingly, top officials of the agricultural department has claimed that he has released the money meant for the purpose where as district officials have been claiming that they had no idea of when amount for the same will reach to them.
"We have still to get no money. We have submitted the record about direct sowing of the Basmati in district. We have met our target. We will deliver the subsidy to farmers as soon as we receive it," said Chief Agriculture office Muktsar, Beant Singh.
"I have released the money meant for the same purpose for all the district of Punjab. It was the responsibility of the nodal officer Gurdial Singh to distribute the subsidy among the districts according to the performances. He can explain the delay in subsidy in Muktsar district in better way. Farmers of the most districts have already got the benefits of the same," Said Dr. Mangal Singh Dhillon, Director Agriculture Punjab and top officials of the department.
Gurdial Singh could not reached on his phone.