Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar on Saturday said the US$ 20 fee imposed by Pakistan government for each pilgrim to use the Kartarpur Corridor to pay obeisance at the historic gurdwara on its soil should be borne by the Centre.

Interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of inauguration of the immigration center and flagging of first jatha (group) of Indians through Kartarpur corridor near Dera Baba Nanak today, Jakhar said the US$ 20 dollar fee imposed by Pakistan should be borne by the Central government under special Tirath Yatra (pilgrimage) package offered for senior citizens only in some segments.  “You can expect each pilgrim will pray for peace and prosperity while performing Ardas at the holy shrine,” he added.

The Congress leader also sought Modi’s help in compensating farmers for non-Basmati variety of paddy by paying Rs 100 each quintal as a bonus for not burning stubble.

Jakhar said the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur was built to commemorate the site where Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, settled after his missionary work. “He (Guru Nanak) assembled a Sikh commune there, and lived for 18 years until his death on 22 September 1539. By devoting last years of life to cultivation, the great Guru had highlighted the significance of farming,’ Jakhar said.

“Punjab was not in a comfortable financial position to pay Rs 100 compensation for each quintal to paddy growers. The state contributes heavily as food bowl of the country. Punjab has to spare enough water and other resources for irrigation also. It will be befitting for the Central government to help the farmers by paying Rs 100 as a bonus,” Jakhar told Modi in the presence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.