Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday said the Punjab government was committed to protect the interests of farmers and was ready to extend all kinds of help to the debt-ridden farmers.
While interacting with mediapersons during a sangat darshan programme at Gobindpura village, Harsimarat said the Punjab government was completely committed to resolve all kinds of issues of the farmers and various farmer welfare schemes had been launched with the same objective.
She said the Punjab government would launch Bhagat Puran Singh Health Insurance Scheme on Monday, which was a part of the series of pro-farmer initiatives launched by the government.
She said more than 11 lakh farmers having J forms could avail the benefit of the scheme. In the first phase, 3 lakh farmers were being given the benefit, she added. Harsimrat said the scheme included health insurance up to `50,000 for the head of family and other members for an year.
Answering a query, she said the state government had been paying power bills of the farmers for the last nine years, amounting to `6,000 crore and in coming days, around 1.56 lakh new tube-well connections would be allotted to farmers, whose power bills would be paid by the government.
Responding to a media query on the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) forming a committee to probe reasons for racial attacks on Sikhs abroad, the minister appreciated the decision and said it was the need of the hour so that such racist attacks could be prevented in future.
She added that after the 9/11 terror attack on World Trade Centre in the US, Sikhs in foreign countries were facing many kinds of problems for which the Punjab government had appealed to the central government to run a campaign and create awareness regarding Sikhs.
Terming the hurling of a shoe at Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as unfortunate, she said such a method of protest was not right. She said politicians should understand the feelings of people and consider their demands seriously.
Answering a question on the upcoming solid waste management plant on Bathinda-Mansa road, against which residents of the area are resorting to protests, she said the project was being set up after getting approval from the National Green Tribunal.