NITI Ayog Meeting: Expressing serious concern over the threat to Punjab's agriculture by farm laws 2020, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure urgent resolution of the ongoing farmers' protest.
Calling for the fullest respect for the Annadaata, Captain Amarinder Singh reiterated his government’s stand that Agriculture is a State subject and law-making on it should be left to the States in the true spirit of “cooperative federalism” enshrined in the Constitution.
Even as he pointed to the state amendments which have been passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in October 2020. Captain Amarinder could not attend the meeting as he was indisposed. Thus, his speech was submitted ahead of the NITI Ayog meeting.
The Chief Minister asserted that any reform that is sought to be introduced in a sector subsuming almost 60 percent of the country’s workforce must be done only through a process of extensive consultation with all the stakeholders, of which Punjab is a key stakeholder, being at the forefront of ensuring food security for the country.
The Chief Minister also stressed the need for the Government of India to decisively dispel any such impression “to instill proper confidence in the farmers of the State.”
The Chief Minister also used the forum to once again reiterated the state government’s demand for the bonus of Rs 100/quintal of paddy procured as “Paddy Straw Management Compensation”, which can be used for purchase or rental of new equipment, attaining the skills for efficient use, and to reduce the cost of operation and maintenance.
He requested the government to provide Rs 5 crore per MW financial support for Biomass Power Projects and Rs. 3.5 cr per MW for Biomass Solar Hybrid Projects to the state as Viability Gap Fund (VGF) to help alleviate the effects of paddy straw burning through ex-situ utilization of available paddy straw with good returns to the farmers.