Punjab CM hopeful state will not face labour shortage for paddy sowingPTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 23-05-2020 21:26 IST | Created: 23-05-2020 21:22 IST
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday expressed hope that the state might not face labour shortage for paddy sowing, saying 10 lakh migrant labourers were still present in the state. "We have a total of 13 lakh labourers in the state and around three lakh workers have gone back (to their native places). Still, we have 10 lakh labourers in the state," Singh said in his Facebook Live programme '#AskCaptain'. "If they (labourers) get work then why will they go back and possibly they stay back and hopefully, there will be no labour shortage," said Singh in response to a question on labour shortage for paddy sowing.
He also advocated the use of direct seeding of paddy which is less labour intensive operation. Notably, farmers have expressed apprehension that with migrant labourers returning to their native places in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, paddy growers would face labour shortage for paddy transplantation next month.
The chief minister also appreciated the hard-working farmers for overcoming all challenges to deliver another bumper crop in these unprecedented times. He said 125 lakh tonnes of wheat had already been procured and payments were being made strictly as per laid out norms. Singh asked the farmers to bring to his notice any delay in payment. He also lauded the agriculture department officials, police as well as NCC Cadets for conducting the mega procurement operations, without a single case of COVID infection being reported from the mandis.