Pink Bollworm: Rs 416 crore relief for cotton growers: Punjab Govt
To provide relief to farmers and labourers in the cotton belt, the Punjab Government has announced release of a grant of over Rs 416 crore to compensate for the damage to crops due to the pink bollworm attack. The announcement was made by Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister Aruna Chaudhary and Agriculture Minister Randeep Singh Nabha in a joint press conference at Punjab Bhawan here today. Both Cabinet Ministers said the pink bollworm had caused severe damage to cotton crops in Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda, Muktsar and Barnala districts and to compensate farmers, the government was releasing an amount of Rs 416 crore. They said 10 per cent of the amount would be provided to cotton-picking workers as relief and the compensation amount would be sent to the accounts of respective Deputy Commissioners before Diwali. The respective district administrations would then directly transfer the aid to the bank accounts of farmers. The ministers said this time, cotton was sown on 7.51 lakh acres in the region of which around four lakh acres had been damaged by pink bollworm. Nabha said compensation was being paid at the rate of Rs 2,000 per acre for 26 to 32 per cent loss, Rs 5,400 per acre for 33 to 75 per cent loss and Rs 12,000 per acre for 76 to 100 per cent loss, which was the highest-ever amount paid to farmers for crop loss.
According to the ministers, 1,51,335 acres of crop in Mansa district had been damaged from 76 to 100 per cent and an amount of Rs 1,81,60,21,050 was being released for the district. In Sangrur, 145 acres suffered loss of 26 to 32 per cent, 3,693 acres 33 to 75 per cent and 180 acres 76 to 100 per cent loss, and a provision of Rs 2,24,01,328 had been made for this. In Bathinda district, 683 acres suffered loss from 26 to 32 per cent, 85 acres
33 to 75 per cent and 1,88,308 acres 76 to 100 per
cent loss for which a compensation of Rs 2,26,15,23,700 was being paid.
Replying to a query regarding the damage caused to crops by the recent rains and hailstorms, Chaudhary said girdawari orders had been issued in this regard and as soon as the reports are received from the Deputy Commissioners, steps would be taken to give compensation. The respective Deputy Commissioners had been directed to send crop damage reports within a week.
Nabha said a state-of-the-art technology was being introduced by the government to prevent bollworm attacks. Expressing his commitment to farmers, he said that appointment letters had been issued to 157 members of the families of farmers who lost lives during the agitation against the agricultural laws. Earlier, farmers in various districts of Punjab under the banner of the BKU Ugrahan blackened the photos of Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi and other hoardings put up to claim adequate compensation for cotton growers. Meanwhile, farmers under the banner of the BKU Ekta Ugrahan on Saturday gheraoed Finance Minister Manpreet Badal in Bathinda.
Criteria to calculate compensation
Rs 2,000 per acre for 26% to 32% loss
Rs 5,400 per acre for 33% to 75% loss
Rs 12,000 per acre for 76% to 100% loss