Mohali (Punjab), Feb 16: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Sunday demanded that the union government should present a separate agriculture budget for the country on the lines of the annual railway budget.
Pointing out that 55 percent of the country’s population was dependent on agriculture, Badal said that the agriculture sector had been blatantly ignored by the central government and that farmers had been facing apathy despite working so hard to make India self-sufficient in food grains.
“Just like the railway budget, we should have a separate budget for the agriculture sector every year,” he demanded.
In his keynote address during the ‘Kisan Sammelan’ of the four-day Progressive Punjab Agriculture Summit which started here Sunday, Badal lamented the apathetic attitude of the central government towards the peasantry.
“Over one lakh farmers have left farming and joined other vocations during last one decade in Punjab alone. The union government must come out with pro-farmer policies to motivate them. Otherwise, this discriminatory approach could endanger the country’s food security besides creating a major law and order problem and even anarchy,” he cautioned.
Highlighting the importance of the agriculture summit, Badal said that it was a non-political event to focus on the crisis engulfing the peasantry and farm labour in the country and find a viable solution for it.