April 23, 2021 12:46:08 am
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday held Chief Minister Amarinder Singh responsible for the total chaos in state mandis saying farmers were forced to camp in miserable conditions at procurement centres due to the state’s inability to arrange gunny bags to store the wheat crop.
The SAD president, who visited Goniana Mandi, Goniana Kalan, Maluka, Kotha Guru and Bhagta Bhaike mandis in Bathinda district and the Moga Mandi, requested the entire SAD rank and file to fan out in procurement centres to assist the farmers to get their crop procured. He announced that the party would hold symbolic district-level dharnas across the state on April 24 in front of the Deputy Commissioner offices to submit a memorandum demanding the problems being faced by farmers in mandis be resolved immediately.
Asking the CM to step out of his farmhouse and address the problems being faced by farmers, Sukhbir said Capt should also direct senior officers to visit all mandis and remove shortcomings which were resulting in slow procurement of wheat.
“Farmers have told me that they are camping in mandis for more than one week to await procurement of their produce. A large stock of wheat is lying in the open in mandis and not being lifted due to lack of gunny bags. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu has gone into hiding as he knows he cannot face the farmers after failing to issue timely tenders for gunny bags. Punjab was also pipped by Haryana in placing of orders for used gunny bags,” he said.
The SAD president said farmers and arhatiyas had conveyed to him that they were now being asked to arrange for gunny bags on their own.
“No effort is being made to create an alternative system of payment. The government was claiming it had made a payment of Rs 6,000 crore to farmers when the actual payment was only Rs 3,400 crore. In contrast the Haryana government had made a payment of Rs 24,000 crore,” he said.
Asserting that the farmers were suffering because the government did not make advance preparations, Sukhbir said former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal used to prepare for the wheat and paddy procurement seasons months in advance.
“This government is least worried about the farmers or their suffering and is content in issuing fake releases about the purported measures taken by it which are not existent on the ground,” he said.
The SAD president was accompanied by former minister Sikander Singh Maluka, Sarup Chand Singla and Parambans Romana at Bathinda and Makhan Brar and Tirath Singh Mahla at Moga. He also spoke to the Moga Deputy Commissioner and the Director (Food and Civil Supplies) and asked them to take immediate remedial measures.
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