|  |  | 

India Top Headlines

Center’s move on direct payment to farmers is “another provocation,” says Punjab CM | India News


CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday called the Center’s move on direct payment to farmers for the purchase of crops “another provocation”, saying it will further exacerbate the current crisis over farm laws.
He further said that the “apathetic” attitude of the Indian government would not help to resolve the situation.
By seeking land records to make electronic payments to farmers directly from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the situation would worsen, he said.
In particular, the FCI has written to the state government for land registries to make direct payments to farmers for the purchase of crops.
Instead of amicably solving the farmers’ problem, the central government was further fueling the anguish among them, Singh alleged in a statement here.
Punjab had a proven system since 1967 in which farmers earned through ‘arhtiyas’ (commission agents) with whom they had excellent relationships and who they could depend on for financial support in times of adversity, he said.
How could farmers depend on large corporate companies in times of crisis? He asked.
Farmers have been camping at the Delhi border points to protest against the Center’s three agricultural laws.
The prime minister, in response to a question, said the governor should immediately decide and refer the state amendment bills to deny the president’s farm laws.
“If the president accepts that it is good and if he refuses, he will open the doors to legal recourse,” he added.
To another query about the imposition of the blockade due to a recent increase in Covid-19 cases, the chief minister said: “I cannot say at this time, but I hope we can control it.” At the same time, he asked people to strictly follow precautionary measures against the virus.
When asked whether Congress will contest the 2022 assembly elections under his leadership, Singh said the decision was the exclusive prerogative of the party’s chairperson, Sonia Gandhi.
On Manpreet Singh Badal’s declaration that he will not be the next finance minister if Congress comes to power in 2022, the prime minister said in a lighter tone that “this will also be decided by the party, not by him.”

Times of India