A Punjab government move to invite applications for the sale of 23,500 stubble management machines at subsidized rates seems to have failed to enthuse farmers with just about 12,000 applications being received till August 17, the last date for submitting the applications.
Punjab has been providing subsidised farm machinery to the farmers since 2018 under the grant being provided by the central government. This year, the state had planned to spend Rs 300 crore in subsidy for providing such machines.
With a motive to get more farmers to switch to such equipment, the government had also allowed small farmer groups to purchase machinery worth upto Rs 5 lakh. As per the officials, a large number of applications have been received from such small groups of farmers.
“We have received around 12,000 applications. Sometimes, a demand for more than one machine is made in one application. Only after going through each application will we able to calculate the actual demand placed by the farmers,” said Agriculture Engineer Manmohan Kalia, Nodal Officer for Farm Machinery and Joint Director (Officiating), Agriculture Engineering. He said, if needed more applications can be invited.
A senior officer in the Agriculture Department said that this there is a higher demand for the Super Seeder machine, which is worth Rs 2.5 to 3 lakh. The individual farmers are eligible for 50 per cent subsidy while groups can avail 80 per cent subsidy as per the scheme.
Out of 12,000 applications, around 65 per cent are from groups and remaining from the individual farmers.
In the last two years, Punjab government has supplied nearly 51,000 stubble management machines at a subsidy of Rs 480 crore.
Earlier this month, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh ordered a social pre-audit of the crop residue management scheme in supplying farm equipment.
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