09 August 2020, Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Sunday ordered a social pre-audit of the Crop Residue Management (CRM) scheme for supplying farm equipment/machinery on subsidy to farmers; rejecting allegations of favouritism for manufacturers.
The social pre-audit by the Agriculture Department will nail the lies being propagated by certain vested political interests, said the Chief Minister, adding that there is not a single farmer who had questioned the quality of the machines/equipment being supplied under the scheme, aimed at ensuring scientific disposal of paddy straw during Kharif Season-2020.
The Chief Minister said the pre audit will seek to make the scheme more efficacious, broad-based and farmer-friendly with the ultimate goal of making the state free of pollution triggered by stubble burning. Suggestions and objections, if any, will be invited from all stakeholders for this purpose.
In-situ Management of Paddy Straw
The Union Government has been running the scheme for the past two years for distributing farm machinery among farmers and cooperative societies for effective in-situ management of the paddy straw. Under the scheme, farmers from Punjab have been given subsidy of nearly Rs. 460 Crore on 50,815 farm machines. The GoI has already listed around 180 manufacturers from Punjab to ensure supply of farm equipment/ machinery in this regard.
The social pre audit would be completed before the distribution of farm machinery/equipment to the farmers and cooperative societies. Around 7000 individual farmers will be given the machines at 50% subsidy, while 5000 cooperative societies, panchayats and farmers’ groups would be given the machines at 80% subsidized rate.
The equipment/machines required for in-situ management of paddy include Super Straw Management System on Combine Harvesters, Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw Chopper/Shredder, Mulcher, RMB Plough, Zero Till Drill and Super Seeder to ensure zero burning of paddy residue in the open fields.
To further improve the paddy management system, the Agriculture Department has also decided to provide to the farmers/societies etc mechanised equipment, needed for ex-situ management of paddy straw, such as balers and rakes, on subsidy, said the ACS.
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