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Farmers Compelled to Burn Stubble due to Lack of Machinery: AAP

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Aman Arora & Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Aman Arora has written to Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, condemning the Punjab government for "not providing timely funds" to farmers and agricultural societies to buy subsidized agricultural machinery.

He also demanded the immediate release of an outstanding subsidy for equipment needed to dispose of paddy stubble.

"Punjab farmers and agricultural organizations filed more than 61,000 applications to the Agriculture Department for the acquisition of different machinery for seeding crops and disposing of crop leftovers, but these applications have languished in the Agriculture Department's offices for a long time. However, due to a shortage of machinery, Punjab farmers are forced to burn paddy stubble,” added Arora.

He said that farmers in the state had submitted approximately 61,000 applications for subsidy for the purchase of 164800 machines, of which only about 9,300 were accepted and only 25,500 machines were authorised by the Punjab government.

According to the AAP leader, the Agriculture Department did not disburse the funds as requested by the farmers, nor did it provide all of the purchased machinery, forcing them to burn stubble.

"The smoke produced by burning straw not only disturbs the general public, but it also exposes farmers to diseases caused by the smoke," he added.

According to Arora, the Punjab government has granted only Rs.106 crore in subsidies to farmers, panchayats, CHCs, and cooperative societies out of a total subsidy of Rs.346 crore sanctioned by the Union Government for the fiscal year 2021-22.

He said that the money granted by the Centre for the agriculture sector has gone back to the Centre due to the Punjab government's poor performance in recent years.

"For example, the central subsidy amount of Rs.45 crore was returned even during the previous financial year," he added, adding that such behavior must be stopped.

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