Agriculture World

Punjab Paddy Farmers in Dilemma due to Rise in Diesel Prices

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

The rise in diesel prices has put paddy growers in Punjab in hardship. Diesel is used most of the time, from aerating to field levelling for paddy farmers.  

According to a report by the Tribune, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal asked the Punjab CM to rescind the steep increase in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.  

Badal also noted that the government should stop misleading farmers on recent regulations related to agriculture and trade issued by the Centre. 

The diesel price has climbed up since June 7 by Rs 4.14 per litre (from Rs 64.39 per litre to Rs 68.53 per litre today). Petrol prices have also surged by Rs 4.95 per litre (from Rs 72.78 to Rs 77.03 per litre).  

Ramandeep Singh Mann, a farm activist, said a constant rise in the price of diesel had proved the anti-farmer stance of the Centre. 

Not just the Centre, the Punjab Government is also imposing a higher VAT on these products, in spite of a dip in global crude oil prices. 

According to a farmer from Kishangarh, Kulwant Singh, the agriculture sector is doomed. He also highlighted that the labour rates have also increased by nearly 70 per cent over the last year. The cost of pesticides has gone up by almost 15 per cent. 

Petroleum dealers are also saying that since last year, whenever the prices of diesel would rise, unethical retail fuel dealers from Rajasthan would start supplying diesel to farmers, as it was cheaper there. 

However, due to this pandemic, Rajasthan borders have been sealed and farmers have no option but to buy diesel from Punjab. Since the cost is rising steadily, many farmers have failed to level their fields for paddy transplantation. Hence having an adverse effect on the crop yield. 

 

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