Ten percent of the total compensation for crop damage will now go the labourers employed by farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said on Friday after a Cabinet meeting in Ludhiana.
He said the decision was taken as when crop gets damaged due to heavy rains or hailstorms, farm labourers also lose work and income.
Explaining how the scheme will be implemented, he said the state government will soon start registering labourers as very few of them are registered and they cannot avail the benefits of schemes of state and central governments.
It was the first state Cabinet meeting outside Chandigarh. It was held in the Circuit House at Ludhiana, about 100 km away from the state capital.
Mann said it has been decided that most Cabinet meetings from now on will be held outside Chandigarh and the initiative will be called "Sarkar Tuhade Dwar" (government at your doorsteps).
It will give officials and ministers a chance to listen to the grievances of the people, take feedback and suggestions and address their issues at the spot, he said.
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"Cabinet meetings will be held in various places like Moga, Mansa and Hoshiarpur. We can also hold these in a large village. Government representatives will spend a day where it is held," Mann told a news conference in Ludhiana after the cabinet meeting.
Giving details about the Cabinet decision on farm labourers, he said, "We have decided that whatever compensation government will give to farmers for their crop damage due to unseasonal rains or hailstorm, out of the total compensation, ten percent of that will be given to farm labourers too."
"For example, if Rs 15,000 a acre is given as crop damage compensation, Rs 1,500 will be given to those farm labourers who were to work in the fields, but could not as crop got damaged because of the rains. This is to compensate for the loss of work which they suffer," he said.
"We have directed our officers to visit labour chowks, construction sites and rural areas and meet labourers there and get them registered on the spot," Mann told the press conference, flanked by his ministers.
"In the coming days, we will bring many pro-Punjab, pro-people initiatives," he said.
Targeting previous governments, he said, "We don't leave any files pending. Earlier, files were pending for 2-3 years," he claimed.
"We are bringing the state back on the track of developmental so that Punjab once again becomes 'rangla (vibrant)," said Mann.
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