Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said authorities were expecting lower incidence of crop burning from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, adding that a centrally sponsored subsidy scheme to curb the problem was running successfully.
The programme grants subsidy on farm machines that eliminate the need to burn leftover paddy straw, which is a major cause of winter pollution in northern India, especially the nation's capital.
Speaking after the inauguration of the first-ever India International Cooperatives Trade Fair in the capital, Tomar said the programme would continue in 2019-20 for these four states for subsidised crop residue management machinery.
"The burning will further come down this year. There has been a decrease already since the scheme was launched," Tomar said.
Tomar said the scheme was being implemented by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research through 60 state-run farm knowhow bodies called Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and UP. The knowhow is being disseminated by 22, 14, 1 and 23 Krishi Vigyan Kendras in these states, respectively.
"The prime minister has given a target of achieving a $5 trillion economy. Cooperatives can play a big role in achieving this target," Tomar said.
For the current year, the Centre has released Rs 273.80 crore to Punjab, while Rs 192.06 crore and Rs 105.29 crore was given to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, respectively, under the scheme.
For Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and UP, the subsidy to curb fires stood at Rs 1,151 crore, latest data showed. In 2018-19, Punjab got Rs 167 crore, up 25% over 2017-18.
Haryana got Rs 61.72 crore, a rise of 17% from the previous year, while UP got Rs 28.60 crore. For 2019-20, Punjab, Haryana, UP have been allocated Rs 269 crore, Rs 175 crore and Rs 97 crore, respectively, the data revealed.