Chandigarh, May 18
The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved an incentive of Rs 1,500 per acre for farmers sowing paddy through the direct seeding rice technique.
A sum of Rs 450 crore has been earmarked to encourage farmers to promote DSR (direct seeding rice) technology which is less water-consuming and less costly.
Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann here, gave its endorsement to the incentive scheme.
Last month, Mann announced the push to check for groundwater depletion in the state.
Under the DSR technique, paddy seeds are sown in the field using a machine that performs rice sowing and herbicide spraying simultaneously.
According to the traditional method, young paddy seedlings are first raised by farmers in nurseries, then these seedlings are uprooted and planted out in a swampy field.
According to a spokesperson from the Chief Minister’s Office, the incentive will encourage farmers to adopt this proven technique which requires significantly less water for irrigation, improves percolation, reduces dependence on labor- agricultural labor and improves soil health, thereby improving the yield of paddy and wheat by 5-10 percent.
The Cabinet has also decided to disburse financial aid worth Rs 1,500 per acre to farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for which the Punjab Mandi Board’s ‘Anaj Kharid’ portal has already prepared a basis of data of about 11 lakh farmers linked to their Aadhaar details. , mobile number and bank details.
Farmers opting for the DSR will need to register on a portal that will be developed in-house by a team of software developers from the Mandi Board.
According to available data, last year, farmers had sown paddy using DSR on 15 lakh acres.
The Cabinet has also given its approval to increase the ex gratia grant rates to families of martyred soldiers from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
In recognition of the gallantry services of Defense Service personnel, the Cabinet also approved a 40% increase in the amount of cash in lieu of land and the cash award to recipients of the Distinguished Service Awards.
Therefore, the amount of cash instead of land has been increased for Sarvottam Yudh Seva medal winners from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.80 lakh, for Uttam Yudh Seva medal winners from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 .40 lakh, for Yudh Seva medal winners from Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000.
The amount of scholarships has not been increased since 2011.
In addition, the Cabinet has decided to engage the services of retired “patwaris” and “kanungos” (tax officials) on a contractual basis against 1,766 regular “patwaris” positions.