Punjab Chief Minister (KM) Bhagwant Mann on Thursday said his government is making all-out efforts for paddy straw management to prevent stubble burning in the state, appealing to farmers to support this noble cause.
Mann, who held a meeting with farmers’ union representatives from across Punjab, said the state government is making 1.22 lakh stubble management machines available and an app has been developed by the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) to facilitate their use. on these machines.
“It is the need of the hour to protect the environment of the state,” said the Prime Minister when asked about the trade unions’ demand for stimulation of ₹6,000 per hectare to farmers for stubble management.
Mann said farmers don’t want to burn crop residues because before they go anywhere, the smoke from it affects their children’s lungs. “I have called a meeting of officials to discuss these issues,” he said after meeting farmers’ leaders in two groups.
After the meeting, Bharti Kisan Union (Sidhupur) president Jajit Singh Dhalewal said they told the CM that there should be no punitive action against the farmers and the government should pay them ₹6,000 per hectare for stubble management.
Another set of agricultural leaders is looking ₹5,000 per hectare or ₹200 per quintal.
“We have conveyed to the CM that farm fires cannot be completely stopped as small and marginal farmers have meager means to manage the stubble,” said Jagmohan Singh, general secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakunda).
The farm bodies also demanded the repeal of Article 63 of the cooperative law which deals with kurki agricultural land in case the farmer owner defaults on the loan and Article 67 which provides for sending the defaulter to jail for 40 days.
“As the debt of the farmers was crossed ₹110 million crore, the state government should commit to a central package,” Jagmohan added. Another demand from the state government was support for diversification in case it wants to take farmers out of the wheat cycle.
During the meeting, Mann reiterated his government’s commitment to get every grain from farmers to the grain markets. “A sustainable mechanism has been evolved to ensure on-the-spot payment to farmers in their bank accounts,” he said, adding, “Smooth and hassle-free procurement of food grains in the market is ensured so that farmers do not face any inconvenience.” .
The CM also announced that during the ongoing procurement season, farmers’ tractors will be missed for grain loading/transportation.
Furthermore, he said that the payment of the financial assistance to encourage farmers for direct sowing of rice has also been started, and the payment has been transferred to the bank accounts of 17,000 farmers. The payment to the remaining farmers will be cleared within a week, he added.
Lumpy skin disease
Mann also assured the farmers that the state government would send a detailed list of the cattle wealth that fell prey to lumpy skin to the central government and flag up the issue of compensation to the farmers.
Agitation on the farm
On their request for help to the families of farmers who lost their lives during the agitation, he said that the relatives of 326 farmers, out of a total of 624 who lost their lives in the agitation, have been given government jobs and the rest will be getting them soon. . Regarding sugarcane, it has been decided that the crushing season will start from November 5 in the sugar mills and then a meeting will be held on October 11 to review the preparations.