Prof Chandumajra asks CM to seek compensation @ Rs 500 per quintal
Chandigarh : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today castigated the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for not approaching the centre to seek compensation for farmers who suffered huge losses due to low wheat crop yields and demanded that it seek money under the natural calamity category from the central disaster management fund.
In a statement here, senior SAD leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said it was shocking that the AAP government had not even approached the centre for award of compensation to State farmers who had suffered a loss of as much as Rs 10,000 per acre due to unseasonal rains in February followed by extremely high temperatures in March.
Demanding that chief minister Bhagwant Mann take up the case with the centre, the SAD leader said it was shocking that the State had not requisitioned the centre to take stock of the losses suffered by the farmers till now. He said farmers had not only suffered losses due to the natural calamity which had struck them but were now also facing value cuts on account of shriveled grains. “The chief minister should ensure that no value cuts as being proposed by the FCI is enforced on Punjab farmers”.
Prof Chandumajra also demanded that the Punjab government demand a bonus of Rs 500 per quintal from the centre. “The State should also compensate farmers by distributing the extra VAT collected by it from sale of diesel during the last one month on account of steep hike in petroleum prices back to them”.
Asserting that in case the State failed to prevail upon the centre to extend appropriate relief to the farmers of Punjab and did not contribute in this task, the agri-economy could take a turn for the worse. “We might witness another spurt in farmer suicides”, he added.
Prof Chandumajra also highlighted that farmers were facing problems in securing agri-loans. “Commission agents are not extending loans due to the partial failure of the wheat crop. The situation has been compounded with Cooperative and Land Mortgage banks also not extending loans because NABARD has not released money to them”. He requested the chief minister to take up this issue also at the highest level to ensure farmers were able to secure loans to plant the next crop at the earliest.