Congress demands disbursal of Rs 800 crore central
assistance to farmers of Punjab
Sukhpal Singh Khaira,
May 20, 2010
In response to my letter addressed to Finance Minister of India, the Minister of State for Finance Sh. Namo Narain Meena vide his letter No. 21(2) PF.1/2009 dated 29.04.10 has informed me, that the Govt. of India has released Rs 800 crores as additional central assistance to Punjab for sustaining last year’s paddy crop in face of scanty rains and power shortage. The said Rs 800 crores was announced by Sh. Sharad Pawar Agriculture Minister during the budget session of the Parliament.
As we are aware there was inadequate rainfall during the last paddy season and that the Govt. of Punjab failed to provide sufficient power supply to the farmers. Due to above stated reasons the farmers had to use diesel propelled generators to sustain their paddy crop, as result the input cost increased by a minimum of Rs 5000 per acre.
The increased cost of input was primarily borne by the 13.50 lac tubewell connection owners and those without connections infact faced more hardship on account of sustaining crop solely with the help of diesel generators.
Therefore, the congress party urges the SAD-BJP govt. to proportionately distribute the Rs 800 crores of central assistance to the 13.50 lac tubewell operators as well as those small and marginal farmers using only diesel generators and without tubewell connections. The congress has a hunch that like other central funds the Rs 800 crores package is likely to be diverted by the SAD-BJP govt. for petty political gains. In case the state govt. fails to pass on this Rs 800 crores to the farmers of Punjab, it would be presumed beyond doubt that the Akali’s only offer lip service to the cause of farmer’s and are not actually interested to rescue the debt ridden farmers of Punjab who are burdened with a debt of Rs 35000 crores.