Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reiterating his request for Rs.100 per quintal as compensation to farmers for management of paddy straw.
The compensation should be given only to those farmers who refrain from burning paddy residue, he wrote in his D.O letter to the prime minister.
The task of achieving zero stubble burning in the state was not only a herculean one but also puts additional financial burden on the farmers, the Chief Minister pointed out, adding that despite strict control measures, nearly 15 million MTs of paddy straw was being burnt in the state annually.
Listing some of the initiatives taken by his government to curb the menace, the Chief Minister said farmers were being provided subsidized equipment for in-situ management of crop residue.
In addition, individual farmers and Custom Hiring Centers are also making huge investments in providing equipment for crop residue management.
However, use of new machines was putting an additional cost burden of Rs.2500 to Rs.3000 per acre on the farmers, which they were unable to afford, said the Chief Minister.
Further, in case these machines were to be optimally utilized to achieve the objective of zero stubble burning, additional cost on management and use of these machines is incurred which needed to be compensated, Captain Amarinder Singh underlined in his letter.
The Chief Minister said that despite repeated requests from the state, the Centre had not yet taken any decision on compensation to farmers for additional crop residue management.
“Notably, the harmful effects of stubble burning are well known and need not be reiterated.
The State Government is serious about handling this problem and has started a campaign to educate and motivate the farmers to incorporate stubble in the soil itself rather than burning it in the fields,” wrote the Chief Minister.
He added, “In order to effectively achieve our aim, we need to redress the concerns of the farmers also.”>