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Amarinder orders release of pending tubewell connections to farmers by November 15

Amarinder-Kisan-Mazdoor-Committee-Meeting-ChandigarhChandigarh, September 21, 2018 (Yes Punjab News)

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered the release of the pending tubewell connections to farmers who had already made payments. He has set a deadline for November 15, 2018, for the same.


The directive came during a meeting with representatives of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharash Committee, according to an official spokesperson.


The Chief Minister has directed the Chairman PSPCL to ensure adherence to the November 15 deadline and issue necessary directions to the field staff across the state for strict compliance.


The Chairman Powercom assured the Chief Minister that the nearly 7000 pending tubewell connections would be released within the stipulated time-frame, said the spokesperson.


Responding to another demand of the committee, the Chief Minister asked the Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture to ensure that the farmers get the subsidized agri-implements/equipment before October 15 for in-situ management of paddy stubble in order to avoid burning.


The ACS informed the Chief Minister that of the total 24,000 agri-implements/equipment, nearly 8000 had been distributed amongst the farmers, cooperative societies and custom hiring centres so far in the state. He said that the Agriculture Department was fully geared up to complete the task of distribution of these implements. The Chief Minister also appealed to the farmers to make use of subsidized agri-machinery effectively to avoid stubble burning, thereby ensuring health and hygiene of the people besides preserving the environment of the state.


The meeting was informed that the Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed in the recently concluded Punjab Vidhan Sabha session, according to which the Government would notify the maximum amount of debt that can be advanced by creditors to the debtors on per acre basis. The Government has already notified five Divisional Debt Settlement Forums headed by the Divisional Commissioner as per the provisions of the Act.   


The previous SAD-BJP government had enacted the Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness Act, 2016, which had several legal infirmities and technical flaws, detrimental to the interests of the farmers. The amended law addresses the flaws and would go a long way in mitigating the hardships faced by the farmers on account of money lending.


The Chief Minister informed the committee that relief amounting to Rs. 1765 crore had already been disbursed through direct benefit transfer to loan accounts of marginal farmers of cooperative banks, and relief was now being disbursed to marginal farmers of commercial banks. Over 3.07 lakh farmers have already been provided relief and the entire process would be completed by the end of this year. In all, over 10 lakh small and marginal farmers would benefit from the Debt Relief Scheme. 


The Chief Minister also directed the Financial Commissioner Revenue to ensure regular meetings of Deputy Commissioner, Senior Superintendent of Police and Chief Agriculture Officer at the district level to review the farm suicide cases on the 15th of every month, as already mandated by the Revenue Department. The reports thus received from the Deputy Commissioners of respective districts would be considered for timely release of compensation by the state committee comprising FCR, ACS agriculture and Principal Secretary Finance.


Acceding to another demand, Captain Amarinder Singh asked the Principal Secretary Power to examine the feasibility of sending power bills to consumers on a monthly basis instead of the existing time-frame of two months, especially in the rural areas.


The Chief Minister informed the committee members that the Government had already launched a crackdown against those indulging in adulteration and supply of spurious food items, milk and dairy products under its mission Tandarust Punjab. He sought their wholehearted cooperation and support to make the mission a great success.


On the issue of new agriculture policy, the Chief Minister said the State Government was all set to unveil its pro-farmer agriculture policy.


Prominent amongst those present in the meeting were Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Viswajit Khanna, Financial Commissioner Revenue MP Singh, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tiwari, Principal Secretary Power A Venu Prasad and DGP Intelligence Dinkar Gupta, IG Economic Offences Wing/Crime Vibhu Raj and CMD PSPCL Baldev Singh Sran.


The committee, led by President Satnam Singh Pannu, included Shavinder Singh Chatala, Jasbir Singh Piddi, Sukhwinder Singh Sabra, Harpreet Singh Sidhwan, Sarwan Singh Pandher (Amritsar) and Amrik Singh Ropar.

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