The Punjab government on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the quality of seeds distributed for cotton cultivation following the pink boll worm attack on the crop in the Malwa region of the state.
The order for the investigation was given by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa after meeting with a delegation from the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh committee. At the meeting, which was attended by state agriculture minister Randeep Singh Nabha, various other issues concerning farmers were discussed, a government statement said on Wednesday. Criminal proceedings would be instituted against the culprits with seizure of property and the imposition of fines, Randhawa added.
The agriculture minister said that to save the cotton crop from further damage, the state government will provide free sprays.
Meanwhile, Randhawa said the state government has provided Rs 5 lakh to the families of each of the farmers who lost their lives in the ongoing unrest against farm laws.
On the issue of withdrawing cases registered against farmers during the agitation against farm laws, Randhawa said the state government has withdrawn 60 of the 105 cases and the rest will also be withdrawn soon.
He further stated that adequate compensation would be given to farmers for land to be acquired under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.
This was stated after he, along with Minister of Revenue Runa Chaudhary and Minister of Technical Education and Industrial Training Rana Gurjeet Singh, and senior officials from the department and those from the National Highway Authority of India had held a meeting with representatives of the Road Kisan Sangharsh committee. Gurjit Singh Gill of the Sangharsh Committee pointed out that in many places, farmers received less compensation for the land acquired than compared to other places.
Randhawa assured him that the state government supported the farmers and that every effort would be made to compensate them accordingly.