PPCC CHIEF VISITS MANDIS IN NABHA TO ENGAGE WITH FARMERS AND APPREHEND GROUND REALITY
FARMERS EXPRESS DISCONTENT TOWARDS STATE GOVERNMENT AS PADDY REMAINS UNLIFTED
Patiala/Chandigarh : Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Chief of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), took an extensive tour of the Village Mandis in Patiala district including Rohti Basta of Patiala rural and Nabha Anaaj Mandi to hold discussions with farmers regarding the unaddressed issue of paddy procurement and the predicaments endured by the farming community in light of the ongoing rice millers’ strike. The farmers conveyed their grievances to the PPCC Chief, lamenting the deterioration of their paddy crop due to the prolonged strike.
“The farmers of Punjab have already endured substantial hardships, including the recent floods that afflicted the region. After three long months, they continue to grapple with adversities,” stated the PPCC Chief. The farmers elucidated their ordeal, having faced the brunt of the floods, inclement weather, and the ongoing rice millers’ strike, which has rendered their produce rotting in mandis.
Assessing the situation at the mandis, Raja Warring expressed, “Contrary to the claims made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government that paddy procurement is on track, the ground reality is starkly different. The purported progress on paper doesn’t align with the stark reality of paddy crops decaying in mandis.”
The persistent strike by rice millers, protesting against Food Corporation of India (FCI) guidelines, has resulted in approximately 66% of paddy stocks remaining uncollected across the state. As of the 15th of October, a mere 7.83 lakh tonnes of paddy have been lifted. With the ongoing harvest across the state, a peak in production is expected within a week, further exacerbating the space shortage in mandis for paddy storage.
Addressing the media, Raja Warring emphasized, “The prevailing situation has left everyone, from the farmers awaiting procurement to the middlemen anticipating the cessation of the strike, in a state of distress. The entire state is trapped in this vicious cycle, with the government seemingly focused on unrelated issues. This process typically takes just a month. With the festive season coming up, this predicament will result in the incapacity to celebrate the significant festivals like Diwali and Lohri, given our state’s strong dependence on agriculture for its economy.”
Continuing his discourse with the media, the PPCC Chief proffered a suggestion to the state government. He proposed, “Until the ongoing protest concludes, why doesn’t the state government take the initiative to procure the produce and store it in government warehouses? Once the protests subside, the state government can then allocate the produce to the rice millers, facilitating the completion of the harvesting process.”
Concluding his statement, the PPCC Chief issued an ultimatum to the state government, urging prompt resolution. “We extend a 48-hour deadline. Release the farmers from this predicament so they can return home. If the paddy remains uncollected within 48 hours, the Congress Party will stage protests in mandis throughout the state and will not relent until the procurement is expedited. It’s time to prioritize the welfare of our farmers over unrelated matters,” asserted Warring.