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Farmer outfits seek financial incentive

As wheat harvesting is gradually picking up in Punjab, farmer outfits have urged the BJP-led government at the Centre to immediately announce financial incentive for farmers in the wake of staggered procurement.

Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee spokesperson Baljit Singh Talwandi said the KMSC in a recently held meeting had passed a resolution demanding ₹200 bonus to farmers on the wheat purchased in the wake of the coronavirus threat. Also, governments should pay ₹10,000 per month to the unemployed youth.

“We have also demanded regular and timely payments to farmers. Also, farmers should be allowed to bring more than 50 quintals of wheat for sale to the market yards,” he said.

Sarvan Singh, general secretary of KMSC, said farmers were also facing problems with the ongoing mechanism established for issuing coupon to a farmer for transporting his produce to the market.

“We want that the e-passes and coupons should be valid for at least 48 hours, besides a minimum of two persons should be allowed to travel on the trolley ferrying the grain,” said Mr. Sarvan.

“We have submitted a memorandum to the government. If our demands are not considered then we will stage a protest on April 28 till April 30 across villages in the State,” he said.

Punjab Food Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, meanwhile, said that the farmers should not panic as he was personally monitoring the entire procurement process himself.

Mr. Ashu said a token system has been introduced in the mandis of State so as to enable the farmers to systematically bring their wheat.

He added that labourers have been provided with masks by the contractor of transportation in order to protect them from COVID-19.

He assured that payments to all farmers would be made within 48 hours.

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