Cabinet okays in-situ crop residue management plan
New Delhi: In a major moved aimed at putting a check on stubble burning, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the promotion of agricultural mechanization for in-situ management of crop residue in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi.
As per the proposal, which has been approved by the Cabinet, the government would establish farm machinery banks for the custom hiring of in–situ crop residue management machinery. The 80 per cent of the project cost would be provided by the government to the cooperative societies of farmers, FPOs, self-help groups, private entrepreneurs, the group of women farmers, etc to expedite the residue management.
The government has also proposed to provide 50 per cent financial assistance on machinery procurement to individual farmers for in-situ crop residue management.
The government would create awareness about crop residue management through different means of information, education and communication.
"The activities would involve mass awareness campaigns through short and long films, documents, radio and TV programmes, demonstration camps at various levels, capacity building programme, advertisements, award for village/ gram panchayat for achieving zero straw burning, etc,", a government official said, adding that the total outgo for the Central funds would be Rs 1151.80 crore (Rs 591.65 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 560.15 crore in 2019-20).
Notably, in the Budget 2018-19 presentation, it was announced that a special scheme to support the efforts of the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi to address air pollution has been proposed.
Commenting on the decision, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, "The approval of the proposal by the Cabinet, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is enough to believe that the government is pro-actively making every Budget announcement a reality within a stipulated timeframe, which was never been done in the UPA regime."