Former Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked the Congress Government to order an immediate Girdwari to assess the damage caused to rabi crops, including wheat, due to heavy winds and squalls last night.In a statement here, Mr Badal said according to reports filtering in from the State there was widespread damage to wheat crop as well as mustard and vegetable crops due to dust storms last night. He said besides ordering an immediate girdwari, farmers should be given compensation for crop damage as soon as possible.The SAD president also called for hiking the crop compensation in Punjab by increasing the Sate quotient share in the compensation amount. He said earlier during SAD-BJP government tenure chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had played an important role in getting crop compensation due from the Union government increased by one and a half times in 2015.
He said parameters for assessing crop damage were also brought down with farmers suffering 33 per cent damage being eligible for compensation from the earlier 50 per cent. Mr Badal said besides this the SAD-BJP government had also given compensation from its own side to help farmers in distress. He said cotton farmers who were given a compensation of Rs 5,400 per acre from the centre were also given a compensation of Rs 2,600 per acre from the State.Mr Badal said the Congress government should immediately announce enhanced compensation for all wheat crop damaged due to hail and dust storms during this season. “It is the moral responsibility of the State to bail out farmers in times of natural catostrophe and also minimise their loss. The new governemnt should not be found wanting in this regard”, he added.