Punjab farmers protest against Centre’s direct benefit scheme
Farmers and commission agents in Amritsar on Saturday went on strike against the Centre’s direct benefit transfer scheme, alleging that if implemented it will destroy farmers.
“We have staged a strike supporting farmers who have been protesting for the last few months. If the Centre’s direct benefit transfer scheme is implemented, it will destroy farmers,” General Secretary of the Majdoor Union, Punjab told ANI.
Farmers’ markets in the state wore a deserted look as commission agents and farmers staged the protest, despite the state government’s announcement of the start of procurement of produce.
Punjab Food and Supplies Minister, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, in Ludhiana, meanwhile, said, “Commission agents have called off their strike over direct benefit transfer to farmers. The procurement process will be started now at Rajpura mandi. The farmers will get payments in their accounts.”
States never faced such problems earlier, the Chief Minister said, slamming the government for attempting to “destroy the existing relations and systems in the name of so-called reforms, which they were trying to impose without taking the stakeholders into confidence.
Earlier this week, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had flayed the Central government for “encroaching upon the rights of the states in its bid to dominate them,” while castigating it a one-sided decision to forcibly impose the farm laws and the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) on the state’s farming community.