Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 10
The Congress on Sunday objected to the state government’s new scheme “Mera Paani, Meri Virasat” aimed at discouraging paddy cultivation to conserve water terming it as a “planned conspiracy” against state’s farmers to deny them fundamental right to life and livelihood.
Addressing a joint video conference, HPCC chief Kumari Selja and and AICC communication in charge Randeep Surjewala lambasted BJP-JJP government’s “tuglaqi farman” which directed that the farmers in Guhla, Pipli, Shahbad, Babain, Ismailabad, Ratia, Siwan and Sirsa blocks would cultivate paddy only on 50 per cent of last year’s cultivable area. “The state government’s illogical decision would adversely affect thousands of farmers as about 2.2 lakh acres of area would be barred from paddy cultivation,” asserted the Congress leaders.
In fact, strict conditions, including non-procurement of paddy at MSP and non-payment of subsidies to farmers growing paddy against government’s decision, would play havoc with the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers and was a ploy to deny farmers their right to procure paddy at the MSP in the long run, the leaders alleged.
Last year, the Manohar Lal Khattar Government had started a ‘Jal Hi Jeevan Hai’ scheme in which seven different blocks were identified where the crop pattern was to be changed from paddy to maize on 1.37 lakh acres. Farmers were promised an incentive of Rs. 2,000 per acre, Rs. 766 per acre for insurance premium and maize hybrid seeds, but no such compensation has been given till today, the leaders alleged adding that the truth is that the conversion from paddy cultivation to maize cultivation did not happen and that is why the Chief Minister gave up those seven blocks and eight new blocks have been identified.
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