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Labour pangs leave farmers worried
Farmers wait for labourers at the Bathinda railway station on Sunday. photo: Vijay kumar

Labour pangs leave farmers worried

Paddy sowing operations getting delayed, labourers demand more wages25 Jun 2018 | 12:35 AM

BATHINDA: Farmers in the region are facing a tough time finding labour for paddy sowing, which they claim is already getting delayed, as less work force has been arriving here from states such as UP and Bihar.

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Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 24

Farmers in the region are facing a tough time finding labour for paddy sowing, which they claim is already getting delayed, as less work force has been arriving here from states such as UP and Bihar.

A number of farmers may be spotted squatting at the Bathinda railway station, waiting for labourers these days.

Talking to Bathinda Tribune, Randhir Singh, a farmer from Aklian Kalan, said, “It has been a season of troubles so far. First, the state government imposed a ban on transplantation of paddy before June 20 and now we are reeling under labour crunch. The paddy sowing has already been delayed, which may lead to excess moisture content in it. Moreover, any further delay will now take a toll on wheat sowing operations once the paddy is harvested.”

He said he needed at least eight to 10 labourers for sowing paddy on his 15 acres.

Randhir Singh added that the shortage of labour had led to an increase in rate and the labourers, though arriving in small number here, are now demanding Rs 3,200 per acre, instead of the normal rate of Rs 2,400 per acre, apart from their demand for ration.

Hakam Singh, another farmer from Maur, said he had been visiting the railway station for the past about a week, but without any success.

He said he would require at least 10 to 15 labourers for paddy sowing operation on his 35 acres.

Hakam Singh added that the farmers from waterlogged areas of Muktsar district had already engaged labourers who had reached Bathinda.

“The number of labourers arriving here now is very less and most of them are already booked. Besides, if at all, some labourers are available then the farmers offering a better deal take them away,” he lamented.

BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) leader Shingara Singh Mann said the labour problem has increased the input cost for the farmers who were already bearing the brunt of the government’s “anti-farmer policies”.

Labourers, who took Rs 2,000 per acre earlier, are now asking for Rs 3,000 or more.

He blamed the state government order of not sowing paddy before June 20 brought the crisis.

“It left the labourers from other states confused as they usually land in Punjab in the first half of June and leave around June 25 after finishing off their work here,” he added.

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Briefly

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Snippets

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Tandarust Punjab

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