STATE TIMES NEWSR S PURA: Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Parshottam Rupala on Wednesday laid the foundation of a Community Hall, here at Qudarpur, R S Pura and interacted with farmers and Panchayat representatives. Member Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Shamsher Singh Manhas also accompanied the MoS. The Community Hall is being constructed in two phases under 14th Finance Commission, and the first phase would involve Rs 20 Lakh. The Union Minister interacted with Sarpanchs, Panchs and farmers of the area and enquired about the problems being faced by them. The Minister highlighted the initiatives taken by the central government for the betterment of various sections of the society. He said that the central government is committed to welfare of the people of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that the government has taken various initiatives for improving health care facilities, provide clean drinking water and uninterrupted power supply, besides other essential services to people. The delegations of farmers and West Pakistani Refugees also met the MoS during his visit and projected their demands. The farmers demanded enhancement in the compensation for damage of crops from Rs 675 per kanal to Rs 1500. Terming the farming community as the back bone of the GDP of the country, the Minister said that the government is taking all possible steps to increase the income of the farmers. He said that the government has already provided Rs 675 per kanal to the farmers, whose crops were damaged due to heavy rains last year. He assured the farmers that their genuine demands will be looked into, and directed the concerned officers to cover the left out farmers, who have not received any compensation so far. While giving details about the Agriculture sector, Director Agriculture, Jammu, said that 90 percent works have been completed under the central sponsored schemes like KCC, KSY, Soubhagya Yojana and steps are afoot to ensure that the benefits percolate to the targeted lot. Among others, Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture Department, Manzoor Ahmed Lone, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-J, Dr. Risam; Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Sushma Chauhan; ADC Jammu, Tariq Firdous and President Municipal Committee, Satpal Pappi accompanied the minister during his visit.
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