Black Diwali for Punjab farmers as their paddy is rotting in Mandis: Sukhbir
Chandigarh, November 6: For Punjab farmers, it is” Black Diwali” this year.. They are anxiously waiting in Mandis to sell their paddy or have made a distress sale for peanuts. And this is the result of the faulty policy of Punjab government which had consciously delayed sowing of paddy just to save some power and obviously to augment state exchequer.
Stating this here today, President of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and former deputy chief minister Mr Sukhbir Badal dubbed the decision of delayed sowing as “penny wise and pound foolish “ which has landed the farming community in the state into an unprecedented crisis of worst order.
Blasting Punjab chief minister for this man- made disaster, Mr. Badal said that the Amarinder Singh’s Government had taken an unwise decision and implemented it with iron hand. For early sowing, farmers were reprimanded but the government is now shying away from compensating the farmers who perforce had to toe the government line of late sowing.
Mr Badal said that field reports from across the state clearly reveal that the delayed sowing has twin effect on paddy production. On one hand , yield is reduced by 15 percent to 20 percent and on the other the moisture contentment is between 20 to 23 percent, much higher than the fixed norms of the Food Corporation of India(FCI),he added.
“This proved a double whammy for the Punjab farmers. With significantly decreased yield, he farmers income from paddy would be down by 20 to 25 percent”, said Mr. Badal.
Mr. Badal said that far more disturbing is the reported higher moisture content which has further compounded the woes of the farming community. While the procuring agencies are not purchasing the moist paddy , the commission agents are resorting to ten to 12 percent cut which means that for one quintal of paddy, the agents would pay for only 90 kg.
The net result would be that the farmers return from paddy had been reduced by over 40 percent which is substantial and catastrophic for farmers, added Mr. Badal..
Hitting at the Congress led government for anti farmers mind set, Mr. Badal said that the Congress party had promised complete loan waiver to farmers and allied concessions but now it has turned hostile and doing precious little to ameliorate their woes . Instead their condition is worsening by each day as the government is totally oblivious and apathetic to farmers’ concerns.