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Punjab: Cotton crop relief talks inconclusive

2021-10-14 12:29:31
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Punjab: Cotton crop relief talks inconclusive

With the state government not ready to enhance compensation from Rs 12,000 per acre for cotton crop damaged in a recent pink bollworm infestation and farm organisation BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) adamant on its demand for Rs 60,000 per acre, talks between the state government and farmers remained inconclusive on Wednesday.

As per sources, the state government has prepared a provisional proposal of Rs 478 crore as compensation, but the acreage has not been calculated fully yet. As per state policy, there are three categories for determining loss: 26% to 32%, 33% to 75%, and 76% to 100%. The compensation for a loss from 76% to 100 % is Rs 12,000 per acre. By protocol, the state government and state disaster response force (SDRF) share the burden of compensation. The bollworm attack in Bathinda and Mansa districts has caused considerable loss to the cotton crop, while it is much less in Sangrur. Cotton has been sown on 3.03 lakh hectares in Punjab this year, of which over 50% has been sown in Bathinda and Mansa. BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) activists have been protesting near the residence of Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal since October 5 to demand compensation.

BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) state secretary Shingara Singh Mann said they had already told officials before the meeting that compensation of Rs 12,000 per acre was not acceptable.
“Authorities had assured us that officials in the meeting will have the power to enhance compensation, but they did not agree. Now our protest at the residence of finance minister will continue,” he said.

Chief minister’s principal secretary Hussan Lal said farmers had calculated all details incurred in preparing crop which included lease money, seeds, pesticides and labour and they prepared input cost at Rs 60,000, but the state policy was of compensating with Rs 12,000 per acre.

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