He said the administration has imposed a fine of Rs 2.56 lakh on the farmers. He deplored the district administration of Amritsar for challaning 101 farmers in the past three days for flouting the ban on burning of crop residue in their fields.
Khaira said although he stands for clean environment and does not support burning of stubble but farmers have no option, as the government has completely failed to provide machinery, subsidy or financial assistance to them to consume the straw in the fields instead of burning.
In a statement, he said the government had one full year to make arrangements for the required equipment to consume straw in the soil but it failed to do so.
Khaira said the farmers of Punjab are already under a huge debt burden of Rs 1 lakh crore and continue to commit suicides in large numbers each day, how can the government expect them to spend an additional Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 per acre from their own pocket to consume the straw in the soil?
It is the responsibility of the Punjab government to ensure cheap subsidised availability of machinery required to consume stubble in the soil, but the government is trying to shift the onus of its failure on the already shattered farmers.
Khaira said the burning of the paddy residue causes only about 8 per cent pollution while the remaining 92 per cent pollution is generated through polluting industry, heavy vehicular traffic.
He also lambasted the Modi government for not implementing the Swaminathan Committee recommendations while announcing the MSP of crops and if the farmers raise their voice they are "lathicharged and beaten up mercilessly".
Khaira said all successive governments at the Centre have been anti-farmers and have only increased the woes of the farming fraternity.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)