SAD demands financial package for paddy farmers in Punjab

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Amritsar, Jul 1 (PTI) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday demanded an immediate financial package for paddy farmers who were being forced to use diesel generators to rear their paddy crop.

Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia said the government has 'failed' to provide farmers eight hours of uninterrupted power supply to “reduce its free power subsidy bill”.

Addressing a press conference here, Majithia demanded from the state government reduce value added tax on diesel by Rs 10 per litre, saying the state government was earning thousands of crores of rupees from the “misery” of the farmers, besides causing inflation for the common man.

He demanded 'girdwari' (revenue assessment) of farmers who had ploughed their standing paddy crop due to lack of power supply.

He said such farmers should be given an immediate compensation of Rs 20,000 per acre.

He announced that in case the government did not take these corrective measures, SAD would 'gherao' the chief minister and ministers.

'A fresh burden of Rs 2,500 crore to Rs 3,500 crore has been put on farmers who are forced to use diesel generators and they should be compensated for the same,', said Majithia.

He said the party would also hold 'dharnas' on Friday to demand justice for the farmers, common man who were also suffering due to power cuts as well as the industrial sector which was being penalised with compulsory day offs.

Asserting that the state was in the 'grip of a power emergency' and was in 'ICU”, he said 'this emergency is of a Congress make. The government is not supplying power to farmers deliberately to keep its power subsidy bill down.” PTI JMS CHS VSD MKJ

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