New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday impressed upon Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to provide special central assistance of Rs 2,330 crore for combating prevailing drought-like situation due to the deficit monsoon in the state.
The Chief Minister, who called on Singh, told the Union minister that Punjab has always been in the forefront for ensuring food security of the nation and has been contributing about 40-50 per cent of wheat and 30-35 per cent of rice to the Central Pool for the past three decades.
He said that Punjab has experienced 51 per cent deficit rainfall up to June 30, and in order to mitigate effects of deficit rainfall, farmers of Punjab were making strenuous efforts and spending extra money on diesel and other inputs to sustain their Kharif crops.
Badal said the hard-working and resilient farmers of the state were passionate about their crops and goes to any extent to save their crops in drought conditions.
The Chief Minister apprised the Minister that the total area under paddy plantation was 28.13 lakh hectares, which was 40,000 hectares less as compared to last year, due to deficient rainfall.
He said farmers, who use diesel run pumps, have to spend more on diesel to run their tube wells increasing their expenditure manifold to mitigate drought.
He said that due to the deficit rainfall the total consumption of diesel has increased manifolds which would put an additional burden of Rs 79 crore on the farmers.