Compensation to Punjab Farmers Not Burning Stubble Suspended After Claims of Irregularities
The authorities have ordered reverification of the beneficiaries who have been paid Rs 2,500 per acre for not burning paddy straw.
File photo of stubble burning. (Image: PTI)
Chandigarh: The Punjab government has suspended payment of compensation to farmers for not burning paddy stubble after complaints that some ineligible people had received the amount, an official said on Tuesday.
It has ordered reverification of the beneficiaries who have been paid Rs 2,500 per acre for not burning paddy straw.
"We are reverifying the beneficiaries because there were a few complaints that ineligible farmers may have got the compensation amount," a senior official of the state agriculture department said.
The reverification process is to remove ineligible farmers, if any. The government has also suspended the disbursement of compensation for the time being, the official said.
The officials of the revenue and agriculture departments would ensure physical verification in order to weed out any undeserving claim, the official said.
The department would also rely on data received from the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre to verify whether the paddy stubble was burnt or not on a particular piece of farm land, the official added.
Last week, the state government had decided to give Rs 2,500 per acre as compensation to farmers for not burning paddy straw.
The decision had come after the Supreme Court had asked the Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh government to give compensation to farmers to encourage them not to burn paddy stubble, which has been blamed to be as major reasons for environmental pollution.
The government has so far disbursed a sum of Rs 19 crore to 29,343 small and marginal farmers who did not defy the ban on stubble burning, according to the official.
To become eligible for claiming compensation, a farmer has to meet three conditions: his total landholding should not exceed five acres, he has not burnt paddy residue and he must be a non-basmati crop grower.
Punjab has estimated that it may have to disburse Rs 300-400 crore to farmers this year who have not burnt paddy straw as compensation this year.
After a farmer submits his claim for seeking compensation, the panchayat secretary concerned would verify his claim and also maintain a record of crop residue burning in his area.
Then the revenue department officials would also conduct verification of the farm land and also paddy residue was burnt or not. The entire data pertaining to claims was uploaded on the government portal for disbursement of claims, official added.
Meanwhile, the police in Fazilka district has registered a case of cheating against two shopkeepers for allegedly making fake entries of compensation claims on the government website.
Two computers have been seized from their shops and sent to a forensic lab in Chandigarh for examination, police said.
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