Missing subsidised machines : 900 staff members receives notice regarding unable to track Punjab agri machinery(11000)

missing subsidised machines, punjab agri machinery, punjab agri machinery subsidy

Missing subsidised machines |Punjab Agri machinery subsidy | Staff went on strike |

The notices had been served last week to atleast 900 staff members of the agriculture department. The staff member includes officials of rank of development officers and sub-inspectors. The notice has been issued due to staff had been unable to track the 11,000 subsidised machines out of a total 92,000 provided to farmers between 2018 and 2022 for paddy stubble management.

On Wednesday, January 24 2024, agriculture department staff and officials went on strike after receiving the notice. The staff members of the agricultural department submit a report. The report states that if farmers sold or replaced the machines, they are not responsible. The report blames farmers for selling or replacing the machines.

Punjab Agriculture Department Staff Association chairman Jaswant Singh Brar states that blame is unfairly placed on them, and some farmers claim to have contributed to the Punjab Agri machinery  cost. Farmers argue that if the department wants the machines back. The department should return the farmers’ share of funds.

Jaswant Singh Brar announces that the entire department staff will be on a pen-down strike this week, followed by intensified protests outside the department headquarters in Mohali from the next week.

A meeting with Agriculture Minister Gurmeet Singh Khuddian is held, who reportedly assures that if the innocence of the staff members is proven, no action will be taken against the department. Brar expresses dissatisfaction with the assurance, stating that they have not committed any crime. The subsidy to farmers was provided through direct benefit transfer, and the department staff’s role was limited to making a list of beneficiaries and processing their applications. Agriculture Minister Khuddian, unavailable for comments; department director Jaswant Singh says staff members must reply to the notices, and if not found guilty, no action will be taken.

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