Chandigarh | Jagran News Desk: Months ahead of the Punjab Assembly Elections scheduled to take place early next year, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday promised farmers to drop old cases of stubble burning against them but asked them not to set the paddy straw on fire in future. The chief minister also promised to cancel all FIRs against farmers, registered in the state during their protests against the Centre's three farm laws.

He also announced his government decision to raise the compensation for the loss of the cotton crop to Rs 17,000 per acre from Rs 12,000 per acre. Channi made these promises during a meeting with the representatives of Punjab's 32 farm bodies here.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Channi, while acceding to farmers' demands, said his government will cancel all FIRs registered by the Punjab Police against farmers protesting against farm laws in the state. “With this, we want that no farmer should set stubble on fire in future and the government will act strictly against the violation,” he said.

“But if any old FIR related to the stubble burning is there against anyone, we are cancelling it. But it is my request to farmers that they should not set the straw on fire as it causes pollution,” Channi reiterated.

Channi's statement comes amid rising incidents of stubble burning with Punjab recording over 69,000 such incidents this season. Stubble burning is banned but many farmers continue to flout it. Delhi and Haryana have taken several emergency measures including the closure of schools (in four districts in Haryana) and a ban on construction work to curb air pollution.

On the relief related to cotton crop loss due to pink bollworm attack, Channi announced a hike in the compensation amount from Rs 12,000 to Rs 17,000 per acre, besides a 10 per cent of the relief to farm labourers engaged for the picking of cotton. C

He also told farmer leaders that he would personally take up the matter with the Punjab government to withdraw the cases against the farmers who participated in the protest march towards Punjab Raj Bhawan against farm laws.

Meanwhile, before the meeting with the chief minister, several farmer leaders held a protest outside the meeting venue, claiming that they were allegedly pushed by the security men when they were trying to enter the Punjab Bhawan. They threatened not to attend the meeting till the CM tenders apology for the same. Punjab Agriculture minister Randeep Singh Nabha came out to pacify them and later Channi met them to placate them.

 

(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan