Chandigarh, September 23 : The Shiromani Akali Dal strongly opposed the imposition of power bill for the agriculture sector by the Congress government in the state and said that it has betrayed the farmers on one of the most important promises it made during the Punjab assembly elections.

In a statement issued here from party head office, the SAD Spokesman Mr. NK Sharma said that though basic policy of the Congress party is to divide and rule and run away from the promises it makes, but levying of electricity bills for the agriculture sector was a betrayal on one of the major poll promises it had made. He said that the SAD-BJP government has continued with the power subsidy for the farmers during 10 years of its rule and had given subsidy of more than Rs. 70 thousand crores.

Mr. Sharma said that the Congress has even failed to provide subsidy for the six months and it has imposed regulation of imposition of power bill for new connections of Agriculture for which Punjab State Power Corporation Limited has issued order vide memo no. 1629/33/AP Policy 2017-18 dated 20.9.2017 (a copy of notification attached) . He said that the notification has made it clear that connections will be issued to only those farmers who agreed to pay the power bills which has made it clear that government was forcing the highly debt ridden farmers to pay for electricity bills if they want to work in their fields with power connections.

The SAD Spokesman further said that the electricity bill for new consumers have been imposed at a time when the media reports have suggested that Congress government was planning to impose power bills for all the agriculture consumers from next Kharif season. He said that imposition of bills for new connections have confirmed the intentions of the state government for the future.
He said that the SAD will oppose winding up power subsidy for the farmers which have already been betrayed by the Congress government on loan waiver scheme. He said that after failure to keep one promise the government was ready to betray them on another one, which will prove too harmful to the farmers of the state as they are already under high debts and will not be able to pay these power bills. He said that it was apprehended that farmers which unfortunately have started committing suicides because of non imposition of loan waiver scheme can go further to any extent and it will be most inhuman for the government to do so.
Urging the government to roll back its decision to impose power bills, the SAD Spokesman said that imposition of these bills will not only break the backbone of the farming community but will be a hit for the food security of the country as only the farmers of the Punjab were contributing the most towards ensuring food security of the nation.

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