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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Punjab farmers burning stubble due to lack of machines, release funds: AAP MLA to CM

MLA Aman Arora claimed out of the subsidy of Rs 346 crore sanctioned by the Centre for 2021-22, only Rs 106 crore has been disbursed

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
November 9, 2021 7:14:45 pm
Aman Arora alleged that the Agriculture department neither released the money as per the demand of the farmers nor delivered the total purchased machines to them, forcing them to burn stubble. (File/Express Photo)

Condemning the Punjab government for “not providing timely funds” to farmers and agricultural societies to buy subsidised agricultural machinery, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Aman Arora has written to Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, demanding immediate release of outstanding subsidy for equipment needed to dispose of paddy stubble.

“Farmers and agricultural societies of Punjab had submitted more than 61,000 applications to the Agriculture Department for procurement of various machines for sowing of crops and disposal of crop residues, but these applications have been gathering dust in the offices of the Agriculture Department for a long time. However, the farmers of Punjab are being forced to burn paddy stubble due to lack of machinery,” said Arora.

He said the farmers of the state had applied for subsidy for the purchase of 1,64,800 machines by submitting about 61,000 applications, out of which only about 9,300 applications were accepted and only 25,500 machines were approved by the Punjab government.

The AAP leader alleged that the Agriculture department neither released the money as per the demand of the farmers nor delivered the total purchased machines to them, forcing them to burn stubble.

“The smoke created by burning straw is not only disturbing the common man, but also the farmers themselves are falling prey to the diseases caused by the smoke,” he added.

Arora said that out of the subsidy of Rs 346 crore sanctioned by the Union Government for the year 2021-22, only Rs 106 crore subsidy has been provided by the Punjab government to the farmers, panchayats, CHCs and cooperative societies. He said that due to the poor performance of the Punjab government during the last few years, the money released by the Centre for the agriculture sector has been going back without utilisation. “For example, the central subsidy amount of Rs 45 crore was returned even during the last financial year and such action needs to be stopped,” he said.

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