Govt's claims over crop procurement hollow: Hooda

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Chandigarh, Apr 26 (PTI) Former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Monday alleged that the state government's claims of smooth crop procurement have proved hollow as a majority of farmers are yet to receive their payment.

The government's promise of payment to farmers within 72 hours of crop procurement has proved to be another “jumla”, said Hooda, who is the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly.

The state government's claim on smooth procurement, which began on April 1, is hollow as the situation on ground is something else, he claimed.

“Sixty-two per cent of farmers have not received their payment so far whereas crop off-take from mandis continues to be severely hit,” the senior Congress leader alleged in a statement.

Hooda claimed that the government owes farmers about Rs 9,000 crore and there will be interest liability of crores of rupees for the delayed payment.

The government should make payment to farmers as soon as possible, and also pay nine per cent interest to them for delayed payment, he said.

Hooda, who is recovering from COVID, said he had been receiving complaints from all over the state that procurement has not been timely, lifting has been delayed and farmers have not received their payment.

A huge quantity of wheat kept in grain markets spoiled due to recent rains, he said, demanding that the government should compensate farmers for the loss.

He said tarpaulin and gunny bags should be arranged in the mandis to save farmers' crops in future.

Hooda also accused the government of remaining indifferent to the plight of farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws.

The government should restart the dialogue process with the agitating farmers, he said, stressing that a prolonged agitation is not in anyone's interest. PTI SUN RDK RDK