Punjab orders social audit of stubble management scheme
This year, the Centre has sanctioned a subsidy of Rs 300 cr to give at least 23,500 such machines on subsidyUpdated: Aug 09, 2020 17:56 IST
Chandigarh Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday ordered a social pre-audit of the crop residue management (CRM) scheme in supplying farm equipment and machinery on subsidy to farmers to prepare for paddy harvest. The first-of-its kind audit was recommended after allegations surfaced that certain manufacturers were being favoured.
“The audit by the agriculture department will nail the lies being propagated by certain vested political interests,” said the CM, adding that not a single farmer had questioned the quality of the machines and equipment supplied in the past. The scheme was started on the intervention of the National green tribunal (NGT) and the Prime Minister’s office in 2018 for distributing farm machinery among farmers and cooperative societies for in-situ management of the paddy straw.
Under the scheme, farmers from Punjab were given subsidy of nearly Rs 460 crore on 50,815 farm machines. The Centre has already listed around 180 manufacturers from Punjab to ensure supply of farm equipment and machinery. This year, the Centre has sanctioned a subsidy of Rs 300 crore to give at least 23,500 such machines on subsidy. A spokesperson added that CM has directed additional chief secretary (development) Anirudh Tiwari to provide these machines to farmers and societies only after the completion of the audit.
Tiwari added the social pre-audit would be completed before the distribution of farm machinery and 7,000 individual farmers are expected to get machines at 50% subsidy, while 5,000 cooperative societies, panchayats and farmers’ groups would be given these machines at 80% subsidy.
These machines include super straw management system fixed on combine harvesters, happy seeder, paddy straw chopper-cum-shredder, mulcher, reverse plough, zero till drill and super seeder to ensure zero burning of paddy residue in open fields.
The agriculture department has also decided to provide to farmers and coop societies mechanised equipment, needed for ex-situ management of paddy straw, such as balers and rakes, on subsidy, the ACS added.
Agriculture secretary KS Pannu has urged all farmers, farmer organizations, political parties, machine manufacturers and NGOs to give suggestions and objections.
He added that suggestions or objections can be submitted till August 17 to the director, agriculture and farmers welfare department, Punjab by post or via email at email@example.com.