Chandigarh – Punjab government on Monday decided to move a Bill in the current session of the state Assembly to set up a five member commission for framing a policy to empower and grant legal rights to farmers. The Punjab State Farmers and Farm Workers Commission- 2017. Bill will be introduced in Vidhan Sabha session beginning Monday. It was decided at a meeting of the state Cabinet here, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ahead of the session. The commission, to be headed by a nominated chairperson who will hold the rank of a Cabinet minister, will also be tasked with planning agriculture policies at district and block level. The commission would have powers to frame agriculture policies and other related matters referred to by the state government. The government will have powers for making reference to the commission on the subjects as may be decided and also for framing the rules for the commission. The commission will have corpus fund of Rs 25 crore initially and Rs 5 crore for the next five years as grant to be given by the state government. It would be required to submit its report, which will be tabled in Punjab Vidhan Sabha. The commission will have its headquarters at Chandigarh. The chairperson of the commission will be a person appointed by the state government, who is a practicing or progressive farmer with at least a graduate degree, or an eminent agriculture scientist, and has sufficient exposure regarding current domestic and international agricultural scenario. “He or she will have the status of Cabinet minister of the state government and his salary and perks, besides other terms and conditions, will be regulated accordingly,” said a government spokesperson. “The member-secretary of the commission will be in the rank of the secretary to government and his salary and allowances and other conditions of appointment will be fixed by the government,” he added.
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