Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered the state's agriculture department to work out the modalities for immediate implementation of the Supreme Court orders on providing financial assistance to small and marginal farmers who had not burnt any paddy straw.
The chief minister also ordered stringent action against violators of the ban on stubble burning, in compliance with the apex court's directives on penalization of such farmers, according to an official statement issued here.
Singh chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court orders, which would put an additional burden on the cash strapped state, which was already reeling under fiscal problems in the GST regime. He stressed that the central government would have to support the state for a permanent resolution of the problem.
Farmers who had refrained from burning paddy straw despite the financial problems they were facing needed to be incentivized and encouraged, Singh said, asking the agriculture and finance departments to take immediate steps to ensure the implementation of the Supreme Court orders on providing compensation to such farmers.
The chiefminister asked the finance department to ensure requisite funds for the necessary payment to farmers.
He also asked the police department to crack down on all offending farmers and identify those who needed to be penalized for stubble burning, which had contributed to the severe air pollution in the state and neighbouring regions.
The meeting was informed that more than 900 FIRs had so far been registered against erring farmers, mostly in Muktsar and Bathinda, with some cases reported in Sangrur.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to give an incentive of Rs 100 per quintal within 7 days to small and marginal farmers who have not burnt crop stubble. The burning of crop residue in the three states is stated to be responsible for 44 per cent of the air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).
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