Moga, Jan 19 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced a welfare package for the farmers and arhtias (commission agents) during an Arhtias-Kisan Sammelan, jointly organised by various Arhtias' and Farmers' organisations in the state. While addressing the conference, Mr Badal announced that the proposed move of the government to make direct payments to the farmers through cheques would not be made mandatory.
Instead, as an experiment, the farmers could opt for any mode of payment for their produce, as per their convenience, the CM said, stressing that he was fully familiar with of present poor economic condition of the farmers in the state.
''Over a period of time, agriculture has become heavily over-capitalised, increasing per unit cost of production and heavy investments by individual farmers on farm machinery have contributed the alarming magnitude of farmers' indebtedness.
The state government would provide 30 per cent subsidy for setting up of block level pools, equipped with common farm-machinery in the state and rest 70 per cent would be made available through some bank, he announced.
Underlining the need to give another push for one more Green Revolution in the state, he said SAD-BJP government was fully committed for the welfare of the farmers as well as arhtias as both enjoyed age-old socio-economic ties.
Arhtias were licencees under section 10 of the Punjab Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1961 and they were one of the most important stakeholders of the agricultural system and working as facilitators between the buyer and seller of agricultural produce in the state.
Pointing out some politically motivated forces for creating mischief between farmer and arhtia communities, Mr Badal said no one would be allowed to do so.
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