The Punjab Congress has demanded compensation of Rs 11,000 per acre to farmers to neutralise the additional cost they had to incur to save their crops from drought and Rs 25,000 per acre to farmers whose crops were damaged due to the recent heavy rain.
The resolutions to this effect were adopted at a meeting organised by the kisan and khet mazdoor cell of the party at the Congress Bhawan on Monday. State party president Partap Singh Bajwa, kisan cell chairman Inderjit Singh Zira, former MLAs Surinder Pal Singh Sibia and Sukhpal Singh Khaira were present on the occasion.
Zira announced that the memorandum containing demands of farmers and farm labourers would be submitted to the respective deputy commissioners across the state on September 24.
Bajwa accused the Parkash Singh Badal government of shedding crocodile tears for farmers while doing nothing on the ground.
He claimed that during the NDA regime from 1998 to 2004, the minimum support price of paddy was hiked by just Rs 60 as compared to Rs 690 per quintal during the UPA regime from 2004 to 2014.
He alleged that the Badal government had also misappropriated compensation released by the Centre for farmers of Punjab. He mentioned that in 2008-09, the UPA government had waived Rs 77,000-crore loans of farmers across the country.
Khaira said the farm sector in Punjab was under debt of Rs 75,000 crore and the government was indifferent, which was resulting in increasing incidence of farmers' suicides.