Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday reiterated that the free power would not be withdrawn to the farmers at any cost till his government was in power.
In his concluding remarks to the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address in the House, the Chief Minister urged the Government of India not to tinker with MSP-based procurement of food grains. He said that it will badly affect the livelihood of a large number of farmers and impair the food security of the nation.
While recalling that the state government was committed to enhancing the socio-economic security of the farmers, the Chief Minister said that “So far debt relief of more than Rs 4603 crores had been given to 5.62 lakh eligible farmers. The remaining would also be given relief very soon, for which the necessary budgetary provisions would be announced by the Finance Minister on Friday.”
Meanwhile, the CM pointed out that the hassle-free procurement had always been his government’s priority. He stated that as a result of the non-interference in free and fair operations in Mandis, the farmers have been able to achieve higher remuneration for their production. In the last 6 crops, the farmers have received an additional remuneration of Rs.44,000 crore, which is an unprecedented achievement for the farmers, he said.
Likewise, he listed the efforts made by his government for crop diversification. The Chief Minister said that these were not enough and hence, the Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, will announce a comprehensive scheme in his budget speech to achieve the diversification with greater thrust on maize cultivation.
He added that the area under paddy has reduced by 2.50 lac hectares with a drop in production of 12 lac tonnes, with an aim to conserve groundwater and agricultural diversification. He also said that wheat production has increased by 7.30 lac tonnes during the last 3 years. The Basmati and Cotton production has also increased substantially by 2.10 lakh tonnes and 4.81 lakh bales respectively.