Farmers protest against value cut on shrivelled, broken wheat grains

The protest impacted the movement of many trains and caused inconvenience to passengers

Farmers' protest in Punjab (Source: Twitter)
Farmers' protest in Punjab (Source: Twitter)


Farmers in Punjab squatted on railway tracks at many places in the state as part of their four-hour 'rail roko' agitation against the value cut announced by the Centre on shrivelled and broken wheat grains due to untimely rains.

The protest impacted the movement of many trains and caused inconvenience to passengers.

Several farmer bodies including Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) and BKU (Lakhowal) had announced that they would block rail tracks from 12 noon to 4 pm.

Protesters squatted on rail tracks in many places including Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Sangrur, Fazilka, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran. In some places, the protesting farmers even put up tents on the rail tracks.

BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan on Tuesday said that farmers restored to the "rail roko" protest against the Centre for imposing the value cut on shrivelled and broken wheat grains for their procurement. He dubbed the government's decision "anti-farmer".

In Ferozepur, a farmer leader said the Centre imposed the value cut instead of extending help to farmers in the hour of crisis.

The Centre has relaxed quality norms for wheat procurement in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, and Rajasthan to prevent distressed sale as well as protect the interest of farmers, a senior official had said last week.

The government has also relaxed the limit of shrivelled and broken grains up to 18 per cent against the existing limit of 6 per cent under the uniform specifications, he had said, adding that no value cut will be applicable on shrivelled and broken wheat up to 6 per cent.

The value cut will not be applicable on wheat having lustre loss up to 10 per cent, while a value cut of Rs 5.31 per quintal on flat basis will be deducted on wheat having lusture loss grains above 10 per cent up to 80 per cent.

Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann had said that his government will bear the burden on account of the value reduction imposed by the Centre on wheat crops damaged due to untimely rains.

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