AAP MP Raghav Chadha has written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking compensation for losses incurred by farmers in Punjab due to unseasonal rains. Chadha visited various farms and interacted with farmers to take stock of the devastation left behind by the heavy rains. The farmers, who shared their grief with their MP, also gave him samples of their damaged crop and urged him to apprise the Union Finance Minister of their losses. Acting on their request, Chadha, who was visibly moved, swiftly wrote a letter to FM Nirmala Sitharaman on the spot and dispatched it along with the samples of the damaged wheat crop.
Chadha described the losses in detail and informed the FM that the rains had impacted at least 14 lakh hectares (40%) of 34.9 lakh hectares of wheat sown in Punjab during the Rabi season, leaving the farmers devastated. Appreciating the Punjab government’s response, he said, “Our Hon’ble CM Bhagwant Mann has enhanced the relief amount from Rs12,000 per acre to Rs15,000 for loss to crops. Acting swiftly based on initial sampling, additional steps such as the relaxation of uniform specifications for wheat procurement as mandated by DFPD have also been taken to help our farmers.” However, Chadha believes that the Centre can’t absolve itself of its responsibility towards the farmers of Punjab, especially given the fact that the state has made an enormous contribution to the nation’s food security. He urged the FM to consider providing a special package to Punjab to further and adequately compensate the farmers for their losses.