Nakodar: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ruling out any move to withdraw free power for agriculture.
Captain Amarinder Singh was addressing the farmers at a programme to issue debt waiver certificates amounting to Rs. 162.16 crore to 29,192 farmers at the Dana Mandi here, in the second stage of waiver of loans for the state’s 10.25 lakh small and marginal farmers. Eligible farmers from the five districts of Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Fazilka and Ferozepur got their loan waiver certificates today.
He assured the farmers that the slight delay in the matter was the result not of funds paucity but the fact that the procedure for identification and verification of the eligible farmers, along with their loan amount, was taking some time.
The number of suicides had come down since the Congress took over, said the Chief Minister, adding there had been marked improvement in the situation, of which his government will give details in the forthcoming budget session of the Vidhan Sabha.
Lashing out at the Akalis for trying to mislead the citizens of the stat and indulging in blatantly false propaganda against his government on the issue of tubewell meters, the Chief Minister ruled out any proposal to withdraw free power for farmers. His government had only provided meters to 900 of the 13.5 lakh tubewells in the state as part of a research project aimed at saving ground water while ensuring that the farmers also get an incentive in the form of cash savings for their personal use.
He further explained this by pointing out that if a farmer is given Rs 10,000 against his tubewell power consumption and ends up spending Rs 7000 then not only will the remaining Rs 3000 go into his pocket but he will also contribute to saving the declining ground water level in the state.
The Akalis were trying to create misconceptions in the mind of the people by making false allegations against the Congress over the issue, said Captain Amarinder Singh.
It was the responsibility of our generation to save water for the future generations, said the Chief Minister, warning that Punjab could well end up as a desert unless immediate corrective measures are taken to check the decline in water levels.
He cited the example of Patiala where the water level had receded from 70 feet to 700 feet in just one year.