Centre’s move on direct payment to farmers is ‘another provocation’, says Punjab CM

Centre’s move on direct payment to farmers is ‘another provocation’, says Punjab CM

CHANDIGARH: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Monday dubbed the Centre’s move on direct payment to farmers for crop procurement as “another provocation”, saying it will further aggravate the current crisis over the farm laws.
He further said the “apathetic” attitude of the government of India would not help resolve the situation.
By seeking land records for making e-payment to the farmers directly from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the situation would worsen, he said.
Notably, the FCI has written to the state government for land records to make direct payment to farmers for crop procurement.
Instead of amicably resolving the farmers’ issue, the central government was fuelling further angst among them, Singh alleged in a statement here.
Punjab had a time-tested system in place since 1967 with farmers getting paid through ‘arhtiyas’ (commission agents) with whom they had excellent relations and on whom they could depend for financial support in times of adversity, he said.
How could farmers rely on big corporate houses in times of crisis, he asked.
Farmers have been camping at the Delhi border points for protesting the Centre’s three farm laws.
The chief minister, in response to a question, said the Governor should immediately decide and forward the state’s amendment Bills to negate the farm laws to the President.
“If the President accepts it’s good and if he refuses, it will open the doors for us for legal recourse,” he added.
To another query regarding the imposition of lockdown due to a recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the chief minister said, “I cannot say right now, but I hope we are able to control it.” At the same time he asked the people to strictly follow precautionary measures against the virus.
Asked if the Congress will contest the 2022 assembly elections under his leadership, Singh said the decision was the sole prerogative of party president Sonia Gandhi.
On the statement of Manpreet Singh Badal that he will not be the next finance minister if the Congress comes to power in 2022, the chief minister said in a lighter vein, that “this too is to be decided by the party not him.”

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