Amritsar parliamentarian Captain Amarinder Singh, who is Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, on Saturday blamed the Punjab government for delayed payment to paddy farmers.
In a statement issued here, he said that even a month after procurement, the farmers were yet to receive any money. "The last payment was made on October 31. The farmers have been making rounds of the mandis (grain markets) for their money," he stated.
In neighbouring Haryana and other states, the farmers had been paid already for their produce, said Amarinder. "Just because we have the most incompetent and irresponsible chief minister in Punjab, our farmers are suffering," he remarked, adding: "He (the CM) has nobody to blame, as the responsibility to arrange timely payments to farmers is of his government solely."
Amarinder has said that when he was chief minister, the farmers were paid within 24 hours of purchase, whether it was paddy or wheat. "This time, there appears to be no hope of quick payment, even when it is a critical time for farmers, as they have financial commitment to fulfil. This is also the season of marriages and debt repayment. The crisis that farmers face is of the government's making," he added.
He said the CM could not even blame the Centre now, since his own alliance was in power there. "Besides, the Centre has a system of distributing money, which Badal has failed to follow, leaving farmers to suffer the consequences," the leader stated.