In a move aimed towards the "judicious use" of water by promoting Micro Irrigation (MI) system, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today sought the personal intervention of Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh for raising subsidy on MI Systems to 80 per cent.
In a letter to Singh, the Chief Minister said that the MI systems play a pivotal role in conserving and saving water due to which it was appropriate and necessary that more and more farmers should be provided financial assistance for encouraging them to install these intelligent systems.
He said the State Agriculture Department had already decided to raise this subsidy to 80 per cent but such a decision of the department was not covered under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
Badal, as per an official release here, urged the Union Minister to advise the concerned officers of the Ministry of Agriculture for giving consent to this decision of the State Agriculture Department to provide 80 per cent subsidy on MI Systems to the farmers of Punjab under RKVY.
"As the implementation of annual plan 2014-15 is about to begin so we need the consent of the Centre to pursue this in right earnest," he added.
The Chief Minister had earlier given his nod to enhance the subsidy under MI Scheme from the existing 50 to 80 per cent of the actual market cost for the General Category farmers and 90 per cent for the women farmers and those belonging to Scheduled Caste communities.
Badal also decided to remove the cap in terms of area for availing the subsidy.
As per the decision, the state government provides subsidy to the farmers across the board and there was no limit in terms of area, the release said.
As per the norms of the Centre, subsidy was provided to beneficiaries having land up to five hectares per beneficiary but the state government had decided to amend it by asserting that there would be no limit in terms of area.
Consequently, the additional burden meted out on the scheme by including the farmers with more than five hectares of land was borne by the state government, the release said.
In order to encourage the use of MI pumps, Badal also gave approval to give 100 per cent subsidy to the Government farms/ nurseries for exhibiting these systems whereas 90 per cent subsidy was given if progressive farmers/ trusts/ cooperative societies install them for exhibition.