Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to let MPs provide financial assistance to farmers in their constituencies for buying machinery to dispose of crop residue cleanly.
In a letter to the prime minister, the Union food processing minister said stubble burning was continuing unabated across North India as the farmers could not afford the expensive stubble cleaning and super seeder machines.
Therefore, parliamentarians should be allowed to use their Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds to help the farmers manage crop residue in a better and effective manner, she said in the letter.
While a central scheme-- 'agricultural mechanisation for in-situ management of crop residue' in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi provides subsidy to incentivise farmers not to burn crop residue, the number of machines provided are much less than needed, she said.
Requesting the prime minister to take all measures needed to address the serious issue of stubble burning which had turned the entire region into a gas chamber, she said if MPs were allowed to purchase balers and other associated machinery for Panchayats and groups of farmers, it would go a long way in improving the environment by curbing the practice of stubble burning and reducing the air pollution levels across the region.
She further said stubble burning not only pollutes the air but also renders the soil less fertile by burning the nutrients in it.
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