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Punjab seeks compensation for farmers on paddy straw management

Statesman News Service | New Delhi/ Chandigarh |

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday met Union minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to pursue the state’s request for compensation to farmers for paddy straw management.

The CM reiterated his demand for payment of compensation at the rate of Rs 100 per quintal for paddy straw management to curb burning of the paddy residue by the farmers. A spokesperson of the CM’s Office later said the Union minister, Radha Mohan Singh extended his ministry’s full support to Punjab in this regard including other agricultural issues and water conservation. The agriculture minister told Amarinder that he would take up Punjab’s case for stubble management compensation with the Union Finance ministry.

Also, Amarinder told the minister, Radha Mohan Singh, that the problem of stubble burning merited serious attention by the Central government. The CM urged the Union minister to direct the concerned ministry to provide for a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal on procurement of paddy to provide an incentive to dissuade the farmers from burning the paddy straw. The bonus, of course, will be paid only to those farmers who manage the paddy residue or stubble without burning, he said.

Referring to the National Green Tribunal’s directive to the government of Punjab to ensure that no paddy straw is burnt by farmers, the CM said while the state had taken a number of measures, the Central government needed to step in to curb the menace.

He further apprised the Union minister that monitoring of straw burning was being done through Remote Sensing Satellites and field functionaries.

According to the spokesperson, the CM also briefed the Union minister on the status of the upcoming National Institute of Horticulture in Amritsar. Captain Amarinder invited the Agriculture minister to lay the foundation stone of the institute, which is expected to be done during this calendar year. Classes at the institute are proposed to be started in a makeshift campus from the next academic session, said the spokesperson