To prevent fraud, subsidy for stubble management machines after verification : The Tribune India

To prevent fraud, subsidy for stubble management machines after verification

To prevent fraud, subsidy for stubble management machines after verification

In a first, the Punjab Government is conducting a physical verification of all stubble management machines bought by farmers, panchayats, cooperative societies and custom hiring centres (CHCs) on November 1.



Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30

In a first, the Punjab Government is conducting a physical verification of all stubble management machines bought by farmers, panchayats, cooperative societies and custom hiring centres (CHCs) on November 1. It is only after the verification that the subsidy amount will be disbursed to beneficiaries on November 2.

A decision to this effect has been taken by Agriculture Minister Randeep Singh Nabha in order to ensure there is no misuse of subsidy, and only those buying the machines get the subsidy amount (80 per cent of the subsidy cost is paid to panchayats and CHCs while 50 per cent is paid to the individual farmer buying the machines).

All 10,300-odd farmers, panchayats and CHCs, who had applied for the subsidy and bought the machines subsequent upon getting approvals, have been asked to bring the equipment bought by them to the offices of the block agriculture officers on Monday. “It is only then that the government will transfer the subsidy of Rs 105 crore directly in the accounts of these beneficiaries. We want to ensure complete transparency in the system,” Nabha told The Tribune here today.

It may be noted that two years ago, a number of farm machinery banks had claimed subsidy for buying the machines, though they existed only on paper. This year, the state government is granting subsidy for buying 31,970 agri machines or equipment to combat the menace of stubble burning. These include 10,023 machines for individual farmers, 15,498 for CHCs, 5,543 for panchayats and 906 for primary agriculture cooperative societies. These include happy seeders, paddy straw chopper/ shredder/mulcher, super straw management systems, super seeders, etc, for in-situ management, besides balers and rakes for ex-situ management. In the past three years, 76,626 machines have already been given to farmers.

Officials in the Agriculture Department said the widespread use of stubble manage machinery was actually helping in control farm fires. “The latest government data shows there is a drop of one lakh hectare area where stubble is burnt between last year and this year. Against 3.11 lakh hectare area where stubble burning was reported, it is just 2.11 lakh hectares now,” Financial Commissioner (Development) DK Tiwari said.

Spray decomposers ineffective: Dept

The spray decomposers, recommended by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, are being tested on 3,000 acres across the state by the PAU for decomposing paddy stubble. Department officials, however, say initial experiments have found these to be ineffective.

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