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Punjab CM schedules June 14 and June 17 as new dates for sowing paddy

PUNJABNEWSEXPRESS | May 18, 2022 06:11 PM

CHANDIGARH: Conceding the demand of State farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday announced fresh schedule for staggered sowing of paddy to June 14 and June 17 thus now restricting the number of total zones as decided earlier from four to just two. However, the border belt across the fence has been excluded from the zonal restrictions and the farmers of this region have been allowed to sow paddy from June 10.

Notably, it was earlier decided to undertake paddy cultivation in a staggered manner by dividing the entire state into four zones viz. Zone-I with date of transplantation (June 18), Zone-II (June 22), Zone-III (June24) and Zone-IV (June 26) in order to save the fast depleting groundwater.

Chairing a meeting with the various representatives of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) led by Jagjit Singh Dallewal, the Chief Minister asked the farmers to immediately go for paddy nursery so that paddy transplantation could be ensured within the stipulated time schedule.

Fulfilling his government’s firm commitment to ensure MSP on Moong crop Bhagwant Mann apprised the farm leaders that the state government has already issued a notification to procure the entire crop on MSP of Rs.7275/- per quintal. He also assured the farmers that the state government is already in the mode of finalizing modalities to procure maize too on MSP to give boost to its ambitious programe of crop diversification.

On the issue of MSP for Basmati, the Chief Minister also informed that he would call on the Union Home Minister Amit Shah tomorrow to impress upon the Government of India to immediately announce MSP on Basmati so as to encourage our farmers to go for its cultivation in a big way by shifting from water guzzling paddy thus conserving the water, the state’s only precious natural resource for our future generations. He also told the members of SKM that he would also take up the contentious issue of BBMB with Amit Shah for expeditious resolution to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

Appreciating the farmers’ response for sowing paddy through DSR technology, the Chief Minister said that the state government has already announced a financial assistance of Rs.1500 per acre to incentivize the farmers to adopt this less water consuming and cost effective technology. A sum of Rs.450 crore on account of incentive amount has been earmarked for this purpose.

Meanwhile, all the members of SKM also highly lauded the decision of state government to promote paddy cultivation through DSR technique and congratulated the Chief Minister for taking this out of box initiative for the welfare of farming community.

Bhagwant Mann urged the union leaders to give him some time for at least one year to bring farmer friendly reforms in the agriculture sector. He said, “Please bear with me and I assure you that I will make your organization free from agitations”. The Chief Minister said his doors of office as well as residence are always open to resolve any issue related to farmers’ welfare with open mind through mutual dialogue to entire satisfactions of all the stakeholders. At the same time, he also urged them to shun the path of agitation and if they had any grouse against the government then they should sit across the table to finally find an amicable solution.

Responding to another issue raised by the representatives of farm unions, Bhagwant Mann unequivocally said that the state government would soon come out with a comprehensive policy for bestowing ownership rights on the cultivators who had been in possession of Panchayat land and cultivating the same since long to convert the barren land into cultivable. The Chief Minister also asked the Rural Development & Panchayats Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal to convene a meeting with the representatives of farm associations to resolve this issue at the earliest. He, however, said that the state government’s vigorous campaign to get the Government or Panchayat land free from illegal possession will continue till its last inch is finally vacated.

The Chief Minister also appealed to them for maintaining cordial relations between farmers and labourers so as to safeguard the interests of each other for making agriculture profession economically sustainable and financially viable. He hoped that the unprecedented warm ties between both of them in the state since time immemorial should be exemplified for others.

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Rural Development & Panchayats Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari, Additional Chief Secretary to CM A. Venu Prasad, Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Sarvjit Singh, Principal Secretary Power Tejveer Singh, Special Principal Secretary to CM Ravi Bhagat besides senior officers of the police department.

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