Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, president the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU), has demanded a relief fund for providing compensation to farmers whose crops are damaged because of natural calamities.
Accompanied by Avtar Singh, vice-president, BKU state Unit, and Parduman Kumar Beganwali, president, district Unit, Lakhowal visited flood-affected areas of Fazilka yesterday.
He demanded relief at Rs 25,000 per acre to the affected farmers. He suggested that the Centre and the state government could contribute in the 60:40 ratio. Lakhowal demanded that the Centre introduce minimum support price (MSP) for basmati to save farmers from being exploited at the hands of private traders, who were bulk purchasers. “The government should set up a procurement agency for basmati on the pattern of Cotton Corporation of India as a large number of farmers had diversified to growing the cash crop, he said. Lakhowal said the Mandi Board would appoint chairmen of market committees soon.