Chandigarh [India], April 1 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday assured the Arhtiyas of his government's full support in the wake of the Centre's latest directive ruling out any further relaxation to the state on the issue of Direct Bank Transfer (DBT) to farmers against payment for grain procurement.
"My doors are open for you," the Chief Minister told the state's Arhtiyas during a virtual meeting, adding that his government would continue to stand with them and fight for them against the central government's move to destroy the established system of making payments to farmers through them, as per the official release.
The Chief Minister said that Arhtiyas will remain an integral part of the procurement system in the state while directing the concerned department to release the pending Rs 131 crore of them, due from the state government.
Captain also said that he had been seeking time from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who appeared to be busy with election campaigns in various states, for a meeting on the DBT issue. Though he did not think the Prime Minister would give time to him, he and his government will keep writing to the central government and knocking on their doors, he asserted in a statement issued by Chief Minister Office.
He had already written to the Prime Minister on March 19, and had personally spoken to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The latter had assured of all help in the matter, Captain Amarinder told the Arhtiyas. He further disclosed that state Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Bharat Bhushan had also met Shah to discuss the issue.
However, the Federation of Arhtiya Association (FAA) of Punjab accused Haryana of betraying them by accepting the DBT proposal of the central government.
The FAA has described the neighbouring state's chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and PM Modi as two sides of the same coin, and asserted: "But we have faith in you (Punjab CM)."
"Farmers in Punjab shared long-standing and time-tested relations with Arhtiyas, who were the backbone of the successful procurement system in the state," Amarinder Singh said. (ANI)