Sukhbir ask Centre to declare Punjab as SAZ | india | Hindustan Times
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Sukhbir ask Centre to declare Punjab as SAZ

india Updated: Aug 30, 2009 17:08 IST

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Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday demanded that his state should be declared as Special Agricultural Zone (SAZ) on the pattern of SEZ as state with 1.3 per cent geographical area of the country was contributing 70 per cent wheat and 40 per cent rice in the national pool.

Talking to media at Village Bahmani Wala in Jalalabad, he said that the Union government should recognise the role of Punjab in making India self sufficient on food security front and time has come that it should come out with a long term package to enable Punjab farmers to increase agricultural production to meet the demand of increase in population.

He said that on the corporate pattern of SEZs, Punjab should be declared SAZ with assured free power supply to the farm sector, tax free subsidized agro inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and diesel, assured marketing and export of agro produce at price linked rates besides revitalizing its age old canal irrigation system at the cost of Rs 3400 crore.

Demanding from the Union government the reimbursement of Rs 3160 crore being spent by the state government in giving free power to the farm sector till Punjab is declared SAZ, Badal said that Punjab was giving free power to farmers to enable them to contribute major share of wheat and Rice to central pool to make India self sufficient on food security front.