Chandigarh, July 16: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab has sought a special financial relief package from the Union government, on the lines of that given to hill states.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters here on Saturday, chief spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang said that Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal met Union Agriculture Minister Narinder Singh Tomar recently and demanded a financial assistance package that should address the financial woes of the farmers and also encourage them for crop diversification and curb stubble burning in the state.
Kang said that minister Dhaliwal, during a meeting with Union minister Tomar at the National Conference of Agriculture and Horticulture Ministers of the states in Bengaluru, also demanded Rs 15, 000 per acre per year compensation for border area farmers to reduce their hardships as they can work only 10am to 4pm and cannot grow crops higher than 3 feet due to border restrictions.
He said that as Punjab is an agrarian state and most of the population is dependent on agriculture, therefore, the AAP government has urged the Union government to allocate a special package to Punjab to compensate the state for the industrial packages given to hill states by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He said that Punjab has fed food grains, wheat and rice to the nation for four decades of scarcity and now it is the duty of the Union government to extend financial help to take the farmers of Punjab out of the debt trap.
Kang also urged the Union Minister Tomar to fulfil his promise made during the farmers’ protest and constitute a committee to look into the issue of MSP.