Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce Rs 100 per quintal to farmers to manage paddy straw instead of burning it.
“The compensation should be given only to farmers who refrain from burning paddy residue,” Amarinder said in a communication to the Prime Minister.
“The task of achieving zero stubble-burning in the state is not only a herculean one but also puts the additional financial burden on the farmers,” the Chief Minister pointed out, adding that despite strict steps, nearly 15 million tonnes of paddy straw/stubble was burnt in the agrarian state annually.
The Chief Minister said Punjab farmers were given subsidised equipment for in-situ management of crop residue.
“The use of new machines is putting an additional burden of Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per acre on farmers, which they are unable to afford,” he said.
“In case these machines are to be optimally utilised for zero stubble-burning, additional cost on management and use of these machines is incurred which needed to be compensated,” Amarinder Singh said.
The Chief Minister said that despite repeated requests, the Centre had not yet taken any decision on the compensation to farmers for additional crop residue management.
“The harmful effects of stubble-burning need not be reiterated. The state is serious about handling this problem and has started a campaign to educate and motivate farmers to plow stubble back into the soil rather than burning it. In order to achieve our aim, we need to redress the concerns of the farmers also,” he added.