Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 12
Two days after a Punjab Congress delegation led by Navjot Singh Sidhu met representatives of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), comprising 32 farmer organisations, the PCC chief has sought cancellation of the remaining FIRs registered against the farm unions for violence during the agitation, besides opposing the Centre’s demand for land record prior to procurements and seeking a way forward in crop diversification.
Flagging the demands raised by the unions, Sidhu in a letter to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said the party and state government had supported the farmers’ agitation against the three central farm laws, yet some FIRs had been registered against unions for violence during the protests.
“The government could set up a mechanism to consider each case on compassionate grounds and cancel all such unfair cases,” he said.
Raising another concern of the farmers, the PCC chief said they feared the demand for land records to demarcate details of land ownership before procurement as ordered by the Central Government was unjust.
A large number of farmers was sowing crops by taking land on lease. “This is also an attack on the resilient system of procurement by minimum support price (MSP) through arthiyas and an attempt to push the farmers away from APMC mandis towards private markets,” he stressed.
In a tactical change in approach, the PCC chief, instead of taking on his own government, praised the state government for allocating 10.9 per cent of its Budget expenditure for agriculture in 2021-22, much higher than the average allocation by other states at 6.3 per cent.
While praising the waiver of Rs 5,810 crore loan of farmers and Rs 520 crore of farm labour and landless farmers, besides seamless procurement, Sidhu said: “We must do more, standing firmer on our resolution passed in Vidhan Sabha in October 2020 against the three farm laws.”
Seeking an in increase in state farmers’ income, beginning with procurement of pulses and oilseeds through state corporations, the PCC chief stressed the need for investment in diversification by giving MSP on more crops, augmenting storage capacity of farmers and strengthening their financial capabilities through cooperatives and forward linkages to trade without dependence on corporates.
Make PCC chief CM face: Amargarh MLA
Amargarh MLA Surjit Singh Dhiman has said the party should make Navjot Singh Sidhu its chief ministerial face. Dhiman has been siding with the rebel ministers on the issue of replacing the Chief Minister. He said he would not contest the Assembly elections if they were fought under Capt Amarinder Singh.
Give MSP on more crops
The PCC chief sought a way forward in crop diversification by giving MSP on more crops, augmenting storage capacity of farmers and strengthening their financial capabilities through cooperatives.
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