With the farmers facing the wrath of weather gods or man-made calamity one after another season in Punjab, the state government has come up with new measures and a host of compensation packages for the farmers all over the state.
The basic objective of new measures which have been announced by the SAD-BJP government is to ensure that no section of farmers is left out.
It was a result of holistic approach of Punjab government that after announcing relief to the cotton growers who suffered badly due to whitefly attack and the use of spurious seeds last year that the Chief Minister directed the revenue department to cover other crops like guar and vegetables too on a similar pattern as was being done in the case of damaged cotton crop. Badal had directed that after disposing of the objections raised by farmers, the revenue officials would release the compensation amount to the affected farmers as per the assessment. Clear instructions were given that the payment of compensation should be made directly to the cultivators in case the land was given on contract farming to the cultivators so as to mitigate hardships caused to them.
Relief to farmers for damage to crops
Last year as the government faced almost 60% loss to cotton crop in the Malwa region and in a bid to compensate the loss the state government cleared a compensation to the tune of Rs 600-crore to the affected farmers. The government first ordered a special girdawri and it came out that 6.75 lakh acres of land was affected in a whitefly attack. Out of this Cotton alone was sown on 11.25 lakh acres in the Malwa region. Farmers have ploughed back crop on 11,800 acres because of the pest attack.
Soon after the loss, the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also ordered to give immediate compensation of Rs 10 crore to cotton growers whose crop was extensively damaged by whitefly attack.
The compensation was announced to those growers who have uprooted their crop because of the pest attack. Badal made the announcement in the wake of extensive damage to the crops. Out of 11,780 acres area ploughed back by the farmers, 5,000 acres fell in Muktsar, 3,727 acres in Fazilka, 2,090 acres in Bathinda, 539 acres in Mansa, 398 acres in Faridkot and 26 acres in Barnala districts. Badal had also assured farmers that the state government had already taken a decision to bail out farmers who had ploughed back their fields due to whitefly attack.
Other farmers who suffered loss not left behind
Besides taking serious view of sale of spurious pesticides and insecticides, Badal also issued directions to take strict action against those found involved in such illegal activities. It was part of this swoop down against such miscreants that the police officials had taken more than 200 samples of such substandard pesticides from the dealers in the Malwa belt and taken action subsequently. “Such dealers who had created havoc with the cotton and other crops nurtured with their blood, sweat and tears would be dealt with severely,” Badal has said.
Agriculture and Power departments were also asked to issue requisite notifications to initiate procedure for the release of new tube well connections to the farmers which would fulfil their need of irrigation and water requirement.