Former congress MLA Sukhpal Kahira on Friday appealed the union government to declare Punjab as a drought-hit state and also provide the state farmers with adequate compensation package.
"The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has declared that there has been 65% deficit rainfall in Punjab. Inspite of this, the farmers have achieved 100 % target of 27.80 lakh hectares of paddy sowing and other crops such as cotton and maize, which could be destroyed due to scarcity of rains." He said.
"As a result the farmers had to bear extra cost of diesel this year to dig deeper for water, throught tubewells, using generators which has further added to woes of the farmers as the cost of inputs is much higher than the MSP of their crops," he said.
"The Centre should give at least Rs 5000 per acre as compensation for all the standing crops of the state including paddy, maize, cotton, oil seeds, fruits etc. i.e. a minimum of Rs. 5000 crore package to the farmers to sustain their livelihood," he added.
He also urged the state government to announce a bonus of Rs. 100 over and above the MSP of the paddy crop if it is concerned about the plight of the farmers, rather than offering mere lip service.