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High Court questions Punjab, Haryana on free power to rich farmers

Chandigarh, May 20, 2019-

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday questioned Punjab and Haryana governments on free or subsidized power given to rich farmers.

Hearing two public interest petitions, Chief Justice Krishna Murari asked: “Why free or subsidized power be given on agricultural pump sets to rich farmers?”

Petitioner Hari Chand Arora was seeking directions to both state governments for exclusion of rich and affluent farmers from the scheme for providing total power subsidy for agricultural pump sets.

Chief Justice Murari was apparently not convinced with the argument that rich consumers were being asked to voluntarily give up the subsidy.

“Subsidy should be for the needy and not for rich and affluent farmers,” he said.

Referring to the total subsidy amount of nearly Rs 7,000 crore, Chief Justice Murari said: “The burden of such subsidy falls on all the tax payers.”

Counsel for both the states sought adjournment for reconsidering the issue of power subsidy to the rich farmers before filing appropriate affidavits in this regard.  (Agency)

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