Ec permits punjab govt to go ahead with
EC PERMITS PUNJAB GOVT TO GO AHEAD WITH AGRI SUBSIDIES
Chandigarh April 1:
The Election Commission (EC) has permitted the Punjab Government to go ahead with its scheme of providing subisidies to the agricultural sector.
A communique in this respect was received at the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) here. The EC had earlier imposed a ban on subsidies to the agriculture sector on grounds that it was violative of the poll code of conduct and would be an attempt to influence the voters.
However the state agricultural department through the office of the Financial Commissioner (development) argued that ban on subsidies would severly hit the agricultural sector and would also delay the paddy transplant season as subsidies are being provided for purchase of the happy seeder to farmers following the shortage of manual labour in the state. The government pointed out that the paddy transplant season begins in June and the election process would be over only by the end of May, leaving veryy little time for processing subsidy cases for the happy seeder, which has become popular in the state.
The agriculture department also provides subsidies for other agricultural implements including the laser leveler, a water saving device and even hybrid seeds. The farmers of the state under the banner of the BKU had last week held demostrations at all state headquarters demanding that the EC withdraw its subsidy ban decision. The EC had earlier allowed the agriculture department to go ahead with its training camps for farmers.