Sukhbir demands special 1000 mw 'paddy quota'

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Old 23-Jul-2009
Sukhbir demands special 1000 mw 'paddy quota'

Chandigarh July 22:

Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, President Shiromani Akali Dal and SAD-BJP nominee for Jalalabad Assembly by-election today demanded that the Union Power Ministry should immediately sanction special annual 1000 MW 'Paddy quota' of power for Punjab.

He said that this special quota of power for Punjab should be over and above central allocation to the state and Union Government should work out a plan to increase this quota to present requirement of 2700 MW power for paddy transplantation in a phased manner. Mr. Badal also demanded 25000 demonstration solar powered deep tubewell pumps, minimum two for each village, fully funded by Union Government.

Speaking at various rallies in villages Fatehgarh, Tarobari, Keerianwala, Rangeela, Chak Punna Wala, Hauz Khas, Chak Pakhi, Hauz Gandhar, Singhewala, Chak Singhewala, Chak Sotrian, Basti Jhuge Fangian of Jalalabad Constituency, Mr. Badal said that farmers of Punjab were sowing water intensive crop like paddy only to supply the produce in the Central pool and it becomes the duty of Union Government to ensure uninterrupted and free supply of power and other inputs used by farmers for transplantation of paddy crop.

He said that since the coarse rice being produced by farmers was not consumed in Punjab and 100% procurement of this variety of rice was just for central pool. Criticizing the Union Government for discontinuing subsidy on solar powered pump sets, Mr. Badal said that in the era of energy shortage it becomes the duty of Centre Government to encourage the usage of solar power. He said that in addition to 25000 demonstration pump sets, the Union environment ministry should reintroduce 70% subsidy on solar pump sets and also interest free loans for installation of these pumps, so that farmers could be encouraged to harness solar energy.

Questioning the rationale of parameters of Union Agricultural Ministry of allocating more agricultural funds to those states who have failed in agricultural production and penalizing high performing states like Punjab, Mr. Badal said that farmers of Punjab were being punished for their hard work and dedication. The SAD President said that Punjab State was being penalized for becoming granary of the country.

He said that Punjab Government just to ensure that its share in Central pool does not fall, forcing the country to resort to import of grains from other country, was putting its every effort to increase agricultural production. He said that in this situation it becomes imperative for the Union Government to stand by Punjab Government and give its helping hand to the State to increase the production of rice as well as wheat.

Reiterating the commitment of Punjab Government to touch new record in paddy as well as wheat production despite drought like situation in Punjab, Mr. Badal said that in these circumstances it becomes the bounden duty of Union Government to compensate Punjab farmers for incurring more cost of on agricultural inputs, that too by raising debt from private moneylenders.

Old 14-Sep-2009
Re: Sukhbir demands special 1000 mw 'paddy quota'


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