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Punjab constitutes committee to resolve farmers’ issues

Chandigarh, Aug 11 (IANS) Even as over 800 farmers sat on an indefinite protest on the outskirts of the city, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Wednesday said the disbursement of the central package for them will soon be looked into.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union had Tuesday called for a rally to pressurise the Punjab government to increase productivity bonus on crops, disburse the Rs.800 crore central package early to farmers and relieve them of pending electricity bills. They were heading to Chandigarh for the same.

Members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal group) sat on an indefinite sit-in on the Chandigarh-Mohali border Tuesday after Chandigarh police had stopped them from entering the city.

‘Punjab government is taking this issue very seriously and we will make sure that complete justice is done to the farmers. We have constituted a special committee to look into this matter,’ said Badal Wednesday.

‘We have told the committee to submit its recommendations at the earliest. Based on the recommendations, we will decide how much of the central package should be disbursed among the farmers. Some part of it will also come to the state government as we had spent Rs.1,500-1,600 crore in buying electricity at higher rates,’ stated Badal.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union wanted to hold their protest rally in the heart of Chandigarh in Sector 17, the commercial hub of the city. But the administration imposed Section 144, which bans gathering of five or more person, across the city except in the Sector 25 rally ground.

Chandigarh Police and administration are extra cautious this time as in September last year protesters of a similar rally turned violent in various parts of the city. One person had died and nearly 100 were hurt in clashes between police and farmers.

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