New Delhi, 15 July 2013
Accepting that it is to pay Rs 4.10 crore due to farmers as lease money, the Citrus Council has submitted an affidavit informing the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the Finance Department has been requested to release funds. The council, which had taken 5,000 acres on lease from farmers in 2006 to promote citrus fruit farming, has not paid them since December 2011. The council has returned most of the land. Now, about 1,187 acres is in its possession. Since its inception, the council has paid Rs 18.72 crore to the land owners. Farmers have urged the state government to pay the lease money dues with interest and reimburse the expenditure incurred by them on the maintenance of orchards and construction of water tanks.