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Farmer Unions in Punjab Demand Compensation, Lifting of Wheat Export Ban

Farmers are seeking compensation of Rs 500 per quintal for the loss of their wheat harvest during the rabi season.

Chintu Das
Wheat Production
Wheat Production

Punjab farmer unions and leaders have asked for the export ban to be lifted due to a worldwide increase in wheat demand. On Tuesday, hundreds of farmers from across Punjab gathered at the Chandigarh-Punjab border to protest the state and the central government.

Farmers are demanding compensation of Rs 500 per quintal for the loss of wheat harvest during the rabi season owing to a rapid rise in temperature in March, when the crop was at its peak.

Jagjit Singh Dallewalwhike, speaking to India Today, questioned the wheat export ban, saying it was an attempt to "ruin the farmers."

"Export ban is an attempt to cripple farmers. Why can't we export food grains if we can import them? The decision is unexpected. We need Rs 500 per quintal of wheat as compensation "he stated.

Despite the fact that 23 different farmer unions took part in the protest, bigger farmer unions such as BKU Ekta Ugraha and BKU Rajewal stayed away.

Baldev Singh Sirsa, another farmer leader, claimed the action was a conspiracy against farmers. The prohibition was enacted to benefit corporations. He claims that there is a conspiracy against farmers, and that vested interests do not want farmers to prosper.

"The ban was put in place to draw attention away from the true concerns.

Wheat has already been stockpiled in large amounts by private players and corporations. They, not the government, would be in charge of setting prices, "he added.

Meanwhile, Punjab Border Kisan Union President, Raghuvir Singh Bhangala claims that the export ban will reduce farmers' income.

"The prime minister stated on April 13 and May 5 that we will export wheat to every country in the globe. The commerce minister also said on May 12 that we will be exporting wheat to several nations. On May 14, an outright ban was issued. Exporters and traders who were hoarding wheat should be penalized by the government "According to Darshan Pal of the Krantikari Kisan Union.

The collapse of discussions between the Punjab government and farmer unions has resulted in a standoff between the two parties. On the Mohali-Chandigarh border, the Chandigarh Police halted the farmers who were marching towards the Punjab chief minister's house.

According to the farmer unions, the march has been postponed until Wednesday in the hopes of constructive negotiations with the administration.

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