SAD asks govt to give Rs 3,000 per acre to farmers for managing paddy stubble

Former minister and senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia claimed it was shocking that instead of offering money to farmers, the Congress government was now intimidating them with threats of cases and jail terms.

punjab Updated: Oct 13, 2018 09:17 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
paddy stubble,stubble burning,farmers
SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia (HT File)

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), on Friday, asked the Punjab government to immediately disburse Rs 3,000 per acre to farmers for managing paddy straw, while asserting that it would stand by them and not allow the state to register cases against them. The burning of paddy straw in fields after harvesting is the main reason of pollution in the state and in adjoining Delhi-NCR.

Former minister and senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia claimed it was shocking that instead of offering money to farmers to manage paddy straw or engaging machines to deal with it free of cost, the Congress government had shifted this responsibility to peasants and was now intimidating them with threats of cases and jail terms.

Urging the farmers to unite for countering these “repressive tactics”, Majithia said the SAD rank and file would stand with them and protest against any move to penalise farmers.

Blaming the Congress government for ‘failing’ to take steps to avoid burning of paddy stubble in the state, the SAD leader said the government had a full year to tackle the issue, but has aggravated it.

“The government first delayed paddy transplantation by 10 days through a dictatorial order which has reduced the window for sowing of wheat and gives very little time to farmers to manage paddy straw,” he said.

“The government then placed orders for 14,000 machines like happy seeder and super straw management systems but only around 500 machines have been received at subsidised rates,” he said.

Majithia questioned the Congress government on how it could ‘victimise’ farmers when it had been given Rs 665 crore by the Centre to generate awareness on stubble burning and to boost the use of subsidised machinery.

The only option left for the state was to compensate farmers for the cost incurred by them in managing paddy straw, he added. Alleging that the Congress government only believed in ‘hype and had zero-performance’ to its credit.

He added that the government had also failed to encourage biomass plants or make arrangements for paddy straw to be used as fuel in kilns and other such measures.

First Published: Oct 13, 2018 09:13 IST