A delegation of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Monday called on Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and demanded compensation for farmers who suffered damage to their crops due to recent rains and hailstorm in the state.
The delegation was led by Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala.
This year, the farmers have faced double misfortune in the form of damaged crops, particularly paddy, and the flooding of the fields has posed a threat to the forthcoming rabi sowing season unless these are drained out in time, the opposition delegation apprised Khattar.
The INLD has also demanded that the Haryana government provide pumps at its own cost to drain out the water-logged fields, Chautala told reporters here.
He said the delegation also pointed out that “farmers are short-changed in the grain markets in the name of moisture content of paddy, suffer short weighing and ruse of discoloration of paddy due to rains”.
“Using these tools, the government agencies, in connivance with the rice-millers, impose heavy cuts on the farmers thereby forcing them to sell their produce much below the minimum support price (MSP), announced with so much fanfare by the BJP government,” he said.
“Even the producers of bajra have not been spared since the procurement agencies deliberately keep away from the markets when the farmers bring their produce so that they are forced to sell it at throw away prices to the private buyers.
“This practice has been going on for the past few years and has been repeated again this year. In this manner, a systematic loot and exploitation of the farmers has been going on, but the government has remained indifferent to their fate,” he alleged.
The INLD also advocated the cause of sugarcane producers who are suffering because of the alleged non-payment of dues even after the sugar mills stopped purchase of sugarcane six months ago.
In view of these serious challenges faced by the farmers, the INLD has demanded that ‘special girdawari’ or revenue survey be held immediately and compensation of at least Rs 25,000 per acre be paid to them.
It also demanded pumps for draining out water from fields, putting an end to the practice of exploitation of the farmers in the grain markets, purchase of bajra at the MSP announced by the government and payment of dues of sugarcane producers.
“If the government fails to meet these genuine demands then the INLD will be forced to launch an agitation, the consequences of which will squarely lie with the government,” Chautala said.
The INLD also demanded that cases of stubble burning registered against farmers be withdrawn and the party sought financial and technical assistance and support for farmers.