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AAP MP Raghav Chadha writes to Finance Minister Sitharaman, seeks support for farmers amid unseasonal rains
Rupnagar: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Raghav Chadha on Saturday wrote a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and demanded to provide a special package for farmers affected by the unseasonal rains, hailstorms and heavy winds.
AAP leader Chadha wrote, "I'm writing to draw your attention towards the plight of the farmers in Punjab. Rain, high-velocity winds and hailstorm reported in the state in the state since March 24 have impacted at least 14 lakh hectares (40 per cent) of 34.9 lakh hectares of wheat sown in Punjab during the Rabi season, leaving our farmers, devastated. The unseasonal rains have adversely affected the yield and the quality of the standing wheat crop." Sharing his experience of meeting a farmer he said, "Met Manjeet Singh at a village in Barwa, who clutched the stems of his damaged crop tightly as he described his plight with teary eyes, Manjeet has a sick wife to look after and a daughter to educate."
Talking about another farmer he wrote, "Another farmer Kulwant Singh told grieving amidst the devastation left behind by adverse weather, which led to a flattening of the crop and inundation of the fields bringing months of hard work to nought."
For those inspecting, loss of crop may well be just a matter of records and statistics, he added.
"Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann has enhanced the relief amount from Rs 12,000 per acre to Rs 15,000 for loss to crops. Acting swiftly based on initial sampling, additional steps such as the relaxation of uniform specifications for procurement of wheat as mandated by DFPD have also been taken to help our farmers," Chada said.
Punjab is the country's food bowl, and farmers are the backbone ot our economy. Our farmers have contributed immensely to agriculture, helped our country become self-reliant in food and ensured food security through drought and natural calamities. it is deeply concerning and heartbreaking that those who toil day and night to provide us with food are now facing a crisis that is making it difficult for them to feed their families. The centre should also step in to help Punjab's farmers in their time of need, Chadha said.
He further said, "The farmers have asked me to send you a sample of the withered crop to give you a glimpse of the situation on the ground which I am attaching herewith."
"I urge you to take immediate action and consider providing a special package to Punjab to ensure further compensation to the farmers for their losses," he said.
The weather change in various parts of the country has increased the problems of local farmers as heavy rain accompanied by strong wind and hail damaged crops in the region.
Raghav Chadha also visited the fields in the Rupnagar district and interacted with the farmers and took stock of the damaged crops. (ANI)