Several farmers from various parts of Punjab, this week, gathered here and held a rally for their several demands including full loan waiver and higher compensation amount for farmers who commit suicide. The farmers assembled at Sector 25 here to participate in the protest rally on the call given by seven farmers outfits, including Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta), BKU (Dakonda), Kirti Kisan Union, Kisan Sangharsh Committee, and BKU (Krantikari). The farmers raised slogans against the Punjab government and the Centre and said the rally was a "warning" to both the governments. "Farmers in Punjab are being forced to commit suicides as they are unable to pay their debts. Our main demand is that the debt of those farmers and farm labourers who cannot pay their loans taken from banks, Arthiyas etc should be waived," said BKU (Ekta) General Secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan. "This rally is a warning to both Punjab and Central governments for not implementing their promises made to the farmers," he said. Kokrikalan also demanded remunerative prices for all the crops so farmers get better prices for their produce. "The government should also pay farmers for vegetable, maize, Basmati etc as per the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission report," he said. The farmers also demanded that they should be given Rs 200 per acre as bonus for managing the crop residue. "Till the farmers are not given Rs 200 per acre, no case should be registered against them for burning crop residue," said Kokrikalan. The farmers also sought Rs 10 lakh compensation each for farmers who commit suicides after failing to pay their debt and a government job to one family member of these farmers. "If our demands aren't met, we will again hold a massive rally against the government after the completion of ongoing crop harvesting," he said. PTI CHS CHT CHT
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