Chandigarh – Punjab government has started surrendering to provide subsidised seeds of wheat to farmers. The agriculture has fixed the target sowing wheat 34.70 lakh hectare. However, the government has managed subsidised seeds only for about eight lakh hectare of land. Whereas availability of subsidised and non-subsidised seeds in the state is 18 lakh quintals, which is 35 per cent more than the total requirement. Subsidised seeds are to be given to small and marginal farmers. But the Agriculture Department has got double applications as compared to the availability of seeds, while available seeds cannot be given to all the farmers who have less than 5 acres of land. Unlike last time, this time subsidised seeds can be purchased only from government institutions, whereas for the last time, the government has included private dealers for selling subsidized seeds. Sowing of wheat season has begun and this is the first season of wheat sowing for the Captain Amarinder Singh government. In the previous Badal government, the quantity was double of subsidized seeds than this time. Earlier, the private dealers were also sold wheat seeds and they were also given subsidy by the government. But the Agriculture Department claimed that the quality of the seeds, sold by private dealers was not good.The wheat sent from Punjab in the Central pool was not considered as a very good quality by the Central government. According to the information, a scheme for providing better quality seeds at the initiative of the Central government has started. The rate of subsidized wheat seed has been fixed at Rs 2,600 per quintal. Farmers will submit purchase bill, Aadhar card and bank account number to the Agriculture department, who purchase seeds from government agencies like PUNSEED, IFFCO, KRIBHCO, NFL etc. After about 15 days, the department will deposit Rs 1,000 per quintal in the farmer’s account as subsidy amount. Amount of subsidy is to be given on 60:40 Central and Punjab government shares, respectively. According to Managing Director of PUNSEED, Sutantra Kumar Arry, the government will pay bonus of Rs 215 per quintal on the crop, prepared from subsidized seeds. Whereas, a wheat seed breeder will get a bonus of Rs 300 per quintal and Rs 36 per quintal as fare expense to provide produced seeds from farm to plant. According to the information, the subsidized seed will be cost much cheaper to the farmer. On the other hand, private dealers are selling wheat seeds at Rs 2,000 per quintal. At present, the state government has reserved Rs. 26 crore to pay as subsidy.To provide the subsidy seed the Small and marginal farmers, who have 0 to 5 acre of land, the government needs Rs 24 crore more, that is, a total of Rs 50 crore is needed. According to the information, the Punjab government, which is also busy in preparing agriculture policy, is facing lack of funds that are why the government is not thinking of arranging a few crores of rupees, stated sources.
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