मंडी परिषद की पुरानी योजना के तहत विभिन्न जिलों से जुड़े 69 किसानों को बम्पर लकी ड्रॉ के जरिए ट्रैक्टरों के मुफ्त वितरण के लिए चुना जाएगा। Source:-Hindustan Times
Amid the ongoing farmers’ protest over Centre’s three contentious agriculture laws, the Uttar Pradesh government is gearing up to distribute tractors to dozens of ‘lucky’ farmers soon in a bid to cultivate goodwill with the farmers’ community in the state, sources dealing with the issue revealed.
As many as 69 farmers belonging to different districts will be shortlisted for the free distribution of tractors through bumper lucky draws under the Mandi Parishad’s old scheme—the scheme had been in the cold storage for last around three years.
In order to make the prize distribution a big event and turn the spotlight on the same, chief minister Yogi Adityanath will distribute tractors’ keys to around a dozen farmers at a function to be organized in the state capital while the rest of the shortlisted farmers will get keys from commissioners during the functions held at divisional headquarters simultaneously on the same day.
The chief minister also heads the Uttar Pradesh State Agricultural Produce Market Board (Mandi Parishad) as its ex-officio chairman.
Confirming the re-launch of the tractor distribution scheme after some break, Mandi Parishad director JP Singh said tractors would be provided to the farmers under the old scheme called the ‘Mukhya Mantri Krashak Uphar Yojana’. The lucky draw under this scheme, he added, could not be held for the last two years or so due to various reasons, including the prevalence of pandemic since March this year.
“We have sought time from the chief minister to grace the function to hand over tractors’ keys to the first prize-winning farmers here,” he said, adding, “A total 69 tractors will be distributed, some by the CM here and the rest in divisions the same day.” The date of the event, he said, would be fixed as per the convenience of the CM.
The government launched the Uphar Yojana back in 2003 to encourage farmers to bring their agricultural produce to market produce committees (mandis) for the sale. The scheme sought to give prize coupons on a monthly, quarterly, and half-yearly basis to farmers on their mandi transactions worth Rs 5,000 and above.
Currently, under the scheme that was amended and upgraded gradually with time, six-monthly bumper lucky draws are supposed to be held twice a year to distribute two tractors (35 HP) each in all the 18 divisions to the farmers winning the first prize.
Sources said no bumper lucky draws had been held for around the last three years and this time the government had decided to clear some of the backlogs in one go.
“At a time when the state government has suspended many schemes with financial implications due to the funds being diverted to fight the pandemic, the government’s decision to distribute tractors is certainly an attempt to send a positive message to the farmers,” they said.
Singh, however, said that the move had nothing to do with the current farmers’ unrest. “In fact, we invited bids earlier to buy tractors and the tractor companies have offered 25 percent discount to us on the price of the tractors we have decided to buy to gift the farmers,” he said.
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