Chandigarh: Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Jai Ram Ramesh have agreed to the suggestion made by Punjab Congress MPs that relief to the drought hit-farmers in the state be paid directly to them.
A delegation of the Punjab MPs, including Congress national spokesperson and Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari, met Agriculture Minister Pawar and Rural Development Minister Ramesh here demanding the relief for the farmers and its direct payment to them.
The delegation also included Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa, Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla and Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Bittu.
Giving details of the meeting, Tewari said the state government had sought the drought relief under three different heads - one, compensation for electricity to be given to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd and second and third for the farmers on account of diesel and conversion to submersible motors.
He said the MPs strongly supporting the demand for the drought package had no objection to the relief for electricity subsidy going to the state government, but they insisted on the other two parts to be given directly to the farmers as past experience about disbursement of relief was not encouraging.
The Ludhiana MP said, both the ministers agreed to their suggestion that the farmers directly get the relief compensation as they were briefed about how the state government allegedly diverted the relief meant for farmers in 2009 for other purposes.
According to Tewari, the agricultural ministry will seek the details of the drought-hit farmers along with their bank account and Kisan Credit Card details so that the relief amount can directly be credited to their account as and when the central government announces the relief package.