SAD asks CM to oppose the DBT scheme resolutely
Chandigarh, March 31, 2021:
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to oppose the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme for government purchase of food grains resolutely instead of seeking time to implement the same, even as it asked the centre to reconsider imposing the scheme forcefully on Punjab.
In a statement here, former minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said Capt Amarinder Singh was at fault for agreeing to implement the scheme from the forthcoming ‘rabi’ season. “It is because of this acquiescence of the chief minister that the union government is now compelling the government to implement the scheme immediately”.
Asking the chief minister to explain why he had not defended the State’s rights to dispense money for food grains purchased from farmers through ‘arhatiyas’ as per the age-old practice, Dr Cheema said the chief minister had even failed to meet the Prime Minister on this issue since the last one year. “Similarly no effort has been made to take along all other political parties to form a consensus so that the move to infringe on the powers of the State as well as weaken the federal system could be stopped in its tracks”.
He said it was unfortunate that even now, despite being aware of the sentiments of the farmers, the chief minister had not told the centre that the State would not implement the DBT scheme.
Cheema also asked the central government to reconsider implementing the DBT scheme in Punjab. He said a consensus had emerged in Punjab that the scheme would create further complications. “Farmers who take land on lease, as well as NRIs, would be affected and there are no effective safeguards to watch over their interests”.
The SAD leader said it also did not make any sense to introduce the new system days before the start of procurement of wheat on April 10. “Any move to introduce the new system would affect the procurement process also and cause extreme hardship to the farmers”, he said while asking the centre to put off this scheme permanently.