Hoshiarpur: Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal today said that rather than issuing directives to the state government regarding the direct payment to the farmers, the Union government must focus on duly discharging its duty of ensuring proper lifting, storage and movement of food grains from Punjab, for the welfare of the peasantry.
Talking to the media persons on the side lines of the first day of Sangat Darshan during his thanks giving tour of the Dasuya Assembly segment, the Chief Minister lamented that the Union government has hardly done anything for the safeguarding the interests of the beleaguered farmers of the state due to which the food growers of the state have been left at the mercy of the Center. He said that it was a paradoxical situation that the farmers of the state who had played a pivotal role in making the country self-reliant in food production have been reduced to the position of beggars due to the anti-farmers stance of the Union government. Mr Badal asserted that as Punjab was serving the needs of the country regarding food grain production so it was the utmost duty of the Union Government to ensure adequate facilities of storage and timely movement of the food grains.
However the Chief Minister bemoaned that despite of the fact that the state government had been requesting the Government of India (GoI) time and again for setting up of silos on scientific lines, no heed has been paid towards their requests. Likewise he said that the movement of grains was to be carried out by the railways which were under the absolute control of Centre but as they have failed to perform their duty so the situation has aggravated further. Mr Badal said that infact it was a part of the conspiracy of the Union government to derail the development of the state by ruining the agriculture, which was the back bone of its economy.
Replying to a query regarding the proposal of raising the retirement age limit from 58 to 60 years from 58 years, the Chief Minister said that the state government has not taken any decision on the matter, till yet.
When asked about the Mining policy of the state government, the Chief Minister reiterated the firm commitment of the state government to curb this illegal practice adding that the policy to check illegal mining would be introduced soon. Mr Badal categorically said that he had already directed the top brass of the state government to take stringent steps for checking the illegal mining across the state.
Earlier addressing the gathering during the Sangat Darshan program, the Chief Minister said that the state government was duty bound for the overall development of the Kandi belt of the state. He said that unfortunately the successive Congress governments in the state have not paid any attention towards the welfare and development of this region due to which the development of these area had suffered adversely. Mr Badal said that he had already directed the water experts to conduct a survey for ensuring the supply of potable drinking water and irrigation water to the residents of these areas. The Chief Minister also laid stress on the need for adopting Rain Water harvesting to boost the agriculture in the region.
Mr Badal further said that the SAD-BJP government would lay thrust on the comprehensive development of the area besides boosting up the economy of the region by concentrating on the development of agro based industry in the area as it had a lot of potential in producing fruits, vegetables and herbs. In the same manner the Chief Minister also emphasised on the need of adopting Dairy farming, fish farming, poultry farming and Emu farming in the area so that the income of the farmers from the region could be supplemented. He said that the state government would extend all possible technical assistance to the farmers interested in these projects. Mr Badal also said that he had already asked the department of Animal Husbandry to introduce the high yielding breeds of milk producing animals in the region, so that farmers could be encouraged for Dairy farming.
During the Sangat Darshan the Chief Minister disbursed a grant of nearly Rs 5 crore to 60 villages of Dasuya assembly segment for various developmental works. In a noble gesture Mr Badal also gave a cash of Rs 25000 to four orphan children Meena Kumari, Ashok Kumar, Monica and Sandeep Singh from village Bhambotar as a general relief. Likewise he also gave Rs 15000 to a poor widow Kiran Lata from Talwara and Rs 10000 to a handicap Mr Ashwani Kumar from village Bhater.
Earlier the Chief Minister also laid down the foundation stone of research centre of GADVASU at village Bhatoli. He said that this centre would be developed as a model center of the state to provide technical knowhow to the farmers.
Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Political Advisor to Chief Minister Mr Kamal Sharma, State BJP President and MLA Mr Ashwani Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Chaudhary Nand Lal, MLAs Mrs Sukhjeet Kaur Sahi and Surinder Singh Bhulewalraathan, Mr KJS Cheema and Mr Gurkirat Kirpal Singh (both Special Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister) and former Punjab Ministers Mr Tikshan Sud and Mr Arunesh Shakar.