Punjab farmers to hold 5-day stir from Jan 22 over ‘delay’ in agri policy - Hindustan Times
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Punjab farmers to hold 5-day stir from Jan 22 over ‘delay’ in agri policy

ByKaram Prakash
Jan 15, 2024 08:20 AM IST

Farmer unions in Punjab have decided to stage protests in front of the offices of deputy commissioners from January 22 to 26 against the state government’s “failure” to introduce a new agriculture policy

Patiala : Farmer unions in Punjab have decided to stage protests in front of the offices of deputy commissioners from January 22 to 26 against the state government’s “failure” to introduce a new agriculture policy.

Farmer unions in Punjab have decided to stage protests in front of the offices of deputy commissioners from January 22 to 26 against the state government’s “failure” to introduce a new agriculture policy.
Farmer unions in Punjab have decided to stage protests in front of the offices of deputy commissioners from January 22 to 26 against the state government’s “failure” to introduce a new agriculture policy.

In January last year, the then agriculture minister, Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, had formed an 11-member committee to draft a new agriculture policy by March 31, 2023.

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One of the members of the committee, who didn’t wish to be named, said even the final draft of the policy is not ready so far. When asked about the delay, the member said: “Some of the members of the committee had gone abroad so the discussion on the policy is pending. Soon, a meeting will be held to give a final shape to the policy.”

Agriculture minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

On September 30 last year, he had said that the government was expecting to launch a comprehensive agriculture policy on the birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur on October 16.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab chief spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang said: “Chief minister Bhagwant Mann has recently held a conversation with the farmers on this issue. This shows agriculture policy is a top priority for the AAP government in Punjab. Suggestions of around 5,000 farmers have already been taken.”

When asked about delay in the policy, Kang said no agriculture policy came after 2000, and they (the AAP government) had started the work on the policy immediately after coming to power. “The policy will be announced soon,” he added.

The BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) has already given an ultimatum to the government to announce policy by January 21 or face the protests. Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of the union, said: “We have already given a memorandum highlighting pro-farmer steps to be included in the policy. But the government seems to have come under pressure from corporates and is delaying it.”

Ravneet Brar, national spokesperson of the BKU (Kadian) said: “The government had promised MSP on all crops and new agriculture policy to increase farmers’ income. But nothing has been done even almost two years after the party came into power in the state.”

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