Punjab to buy power worth Rs.1,800 cr for paddy season

Chandigarh, May 19 (IANS) The Punjab government will purchase power worth Rs.1,800 crore from other states in order to meet the increased demand during the paddy sowing season next month.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Wednesday said the government has made all preparations this year to help farmers during the paddy season starting June 15.

‘Punjab will purchase power worth Rs.1,800 crore to meet the increased demand during the summer season,’ Badal said near Jalalabad town, 300 km from here.

Punjab contributes nearly 50 percent of the total food grain production to the national kitty.

Badal said the farmers have already been advised not to go for paddy transplantation before June 15 in the state’s interest so that the ground water level is not exploited.

On the problem of scarcity of labour, Badal said: ‘The government is seized of the likely shortage of migrant labour during this season and is promoting paddy transplantation machines in a big way.’

‘The agriculture department is offering Rs.75,000 subsidy for purchase of machines besides Rs.5,000 per acre subsidy if the farmers help other farmers in transplantation. Besides, migrant labourers are being lured by offering various incentives including interest-free loans,’ he added.

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