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Miffed with official goof-up,Phagwara farmers turn bonus cheques to ashes

Feeling cheated by the state government,which allegedly issued cheques for bonus on paddy on wrong names,farmers here today staged a protest.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Dossanjh Kalan (phagwara) |
January 7, 2009 11:07:05 pm

Feeling cheated by the state government,which allegedly issued cheques for bonus on paddy on wrong names,farmers here today staged a protest.

They set the cheques of lakhs of rupees afire and alleged that the SAD,which calls itself a pro-farmer party,had hatched a conspiracy against them. They alleged that wrong cheques were issued to 80 per cent farmers in the region.

Notably,the Centre had released a bonus of Rs 50 per quintal of paddy to be distributed by the state government. They said commission agents had provided correct lists of farmers to the state government. The documents procured by The Indian Express revealed that in Dosanjh Kalan and surrounding villages nearly 20,000 cheques were issued,of which 80 per cent had wrong names.

Kuldeep Singh of Gurhe village said he was to receive a bonus of Rs 62,000,but he got a cheque for Rs 49,000.

“Such cheques are of no use for us. Now,I don’t know when will I get my money,” he said.

Baljit Singh of Kultham village got cheques issued in the name of Dosanjh Kalan village; Onkar Singh of Sahrala village got cheque for Dosanjh Kalan; Narinder Singh of Paddi Jagir village received a cheque in the name of Dharminder Singh of Dosanjh Kalan; Amarjit Singh of Dosanjh Kalan received a cheque for Manjit Singh and Tarlok Singh got Rs 3,500 against Rs 13,000.

Tarlok Singh,sarpanch of Dosanjh Kalan,said they got only 70 per cent cheques for the area,of which more than 60 per cent were on wrong names.

Mahinder Kaur,former member of Zila Parishad,said it was sad that poor farmers got wrong cheques after the wait of many months. Surjit Singh,president of the Commission Agents’ Association,said the lists were provided to the department with correct names,still 80 per cent cheques were issued on wrong names.

Kamal Kishore,another commission agent,said,”We have informed the Food and Supply Department,but the officials concerned told us to distribute the cheques on the wrong names.”

Mahesh,another agent,said he received 170 cheques,of which more than 85 were issued on wrong names.

Notably,first the cheques come to the commission agents and then go to the farmers.

Farmers also said that earlier they used to get bonus in cash,but now the matter has been complicated. “Why more than one cheque is issued for single payment to a farmer?” they asked.

They also asked,”Why the Punjab Chief Minister has got his photograph printed on the back of every cheque when the bonus is being given by the Centre.”

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