IEP Ludhiana, February 12
Reiterating the firm commitment of the state government to make agriculture a profitable venture, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday advocated for making new experiments in the field of agriculture to supplement the income of the farmers.
Presiding over the first of its kind initiative of Government- Farmers (Sarkar-Kisan) interaction (milni), which got massive response from the farmers here at PAU, the Chief Minister said that this unique endeavor is aimed at ensuring the well being of the farmers. He said that active participation of farmers is the need of the hour to bail them out from the ongoing agrarian crisis. Bhagwant Mann said that due to ever escalating input costs and diminishing returns agriculture is no longer profitable venture.
The Chief Minister said that due to this the farmers of the state are on cross roads. He said that the sole motive of organizing this interaction is to reduce the gap between decision makers and stakeholders so that policies are designed as per the needs of the farmers. Bhagwant Mann called upon the farmers to shun traditional methods of agriculture and adopt new ultra modern techniques for maximizing their profit adding that the state government will ensure fulsome support and cooperation to them.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is already pursuing the matter of providing Minimum Support Price (MSP) to the farmers on alternative crops with the Government of India. He said that this will help in supplementing the income of the farmers on one hand and weaning away the menace of stubble burning on the other. Bhagwant Mann said that the state government is also laying major thrust on the food processing sector and processing plants for Sugarcane, Leechi, Garlic, Kinnow and other fruits will soon be set up in the state.
The Chief Minister also said that the state government is also planning to boost the agro-industry in a big way. He said that Punjab produces 80% of the total Basmati produced in the country adding that this production will be further enhanced in the coming days. Bhagwant Mann said that this will further give fillip to the Basmati industry on one hand and supplement the income of farmers besides saving the precious natural resource in the form of water.
The Chief Minister gave a clarion call to the farmers to adopt Basmati cultivation across the state. He assured the farmers that the state government will make every effort to ensure that they do not suffer any sort of loss in cultivation of Basmati. Bhagwant Mann also said that every effort will be made to ensure that assured price is made available on Basmati cultivation.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is also mulling to enhance the cultivation by optimum utilization of the canal water. He said that the irrigation network across the state will be further spruced up to benefit the framers. Bhagwant Mann said that all out efforts will be made to ensure that water reaches even at the tail end villages.
The Chief Minister said that in a major pro-farmer initiative, no power cut was imposed in the state during the previous paddy season due to which farmers got uninterrupted and regular supply of power. He said that due to the efforts of his government the power generation in the state has been enhanced by 83%. Bhagwant Mann said that owing to strenuous efforts made by his government the supply of coal for power generation from Pachwara coal mine has resumed after a long time.
The Chief Minister said that as the state now has surplus coal with it, the Punjab government has also urged the Union government to give consent to coal supply to the private thermal plants. He said that the state government is providing corruption free governance to the people and several initiatives have been taken in every sector. Bhagwant Mann said that till now more than 9000 acres of land have been recovered from under the illegal occupation adding that this drive will continue in coming days too.
The Chief Minister further said that his government has broken the backbone of the sand mafia by bringing transparency in the sand mining. Bhagwant Mann said that 16 public mines have been dedicated to the masses thereby ensuring pit head price of sand to Rs 5.50 per cubic feet. He categorically said that the sand mafia that had flourished during the previous government regimes will no longer exploit the people.
The Chief Minister also reiterated the firm commitment of his government to make Punjab a ‘drug free state’. He said that the menace of drugs is being dealt with a heavy hand and a zero tolerance policy is being adopted against the drug peddlers. Bhagwant Mann said that sporting activity is being promoted in the state along with opening of new avenues of employment to channelize the unbounded energy of youth in a positive direction.
The Chief Minister also called upon the officers especially the deputy Commissioners and Additional Deputy Commissioners to maximize their field visits, especially in villages, and interactions with the people by going to villages. He said that it is the need of the hour to facilitate the people in getting their day-to-day works done easily besides ensuring good governance to them. Bhagwant Mann said that this will help in better functioning of the offices along with better acquaintance with the ground realities.
Meanwhile, during this Sarkar-Kisan Milni held at Punjab Agriculture University around 15,000 farmers registered themselves.
Renowned Punjabi singer and lyricist Debi Makhoospuri and Raj Tewari enthralled the audience with their spellbound performances.
Prominent amongst others present on the occasion included Cabinet Ministers Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, Laljeet Singh Bhullar, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Lal Chand Kataruchak, Brahm Shankar Jimpa, Chetan Singh Jauramajra, Inderbir Singh Nijjar and Harbhajan Singh ETO, MPs Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal and Sanjeev Arora and others.
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