To control the massive problem of crop residue burning, the Punjab government has organized a 'Price Negotiation Meeting' with the manufacturers of residue management machinery of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states.This meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Ashwani Kumar, Joint Secretary, Mechanical & Technology, GoI. Around 165 manufacturers from Punjab and 100 from other states are participated in the meeting. Joint Secretary asked all these manufacturers to ensure the quality of their equipments as per the specifications under the scheme. He also directed them to conduct training-cum-hands on experience for farmers so as they may utilize the equipments to its full capacity. Sharing this, Additional Chief Secretary Development Viswajeet Khanna said that the state government has received a large number of applications in the first phase for equipments like happy seeders, paddy straw choppers/mulchers. As many as 7436 applications had been received for happy seeders, 5490 for paddy straw choppers/mulchers and more than 19000 for rotavators in the Agriculture and Cooperation Departments. He also disclosed that more number of applications is expected in the second phase that will be initiated in next few days.
The Department has got a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In situ Management of Crop Residue, on 100% GoI Grant-in-Aid basis. Funds to the tune of 665 crores will be allocated to the State Department, for two years i.e 2017-18 & 2018-19. Already an amount of 269.38 crores has been received as 1st installment for 2017-18 , out of which 16.80 crores for IEC activities and rest is for procurement of equipment on subsidy basis @ 50% for Individual buyers (farmers) and @80% for Farmer Groups/PACS.So far the implementation of the scheme is concerned; the Secretary Agriculture Kahan Singh Pannu has been monitoring the entire process under this scheme. Timeline has already been set up for approval of applications of farmers/farmers groups for purchase of equipments on 'first come, first serve basis'. The directions have been issued to all the Deputy Commissioners to place order with the manufacturers and dealers to regulate manufacturing and supply of equipments well before the paddy harvesting season.Director Agriculture Punjab Dr. J.S. Bains informed that with the equipment being provided under the in situ scheme, an area of 7.83 lakh hectares is expected to be covered and 5.28 million tons of paddy straw is expected to be covered, taking 70% of the capacity per season, as usage of these new equipments.