Major reshuffle in Punjab administration will take place after current session of Assembly is over. Chief Secretary Punjab Ramesh Inder Singh stated this to a query from newsmen here today.

He was here to preside over a function organised by the young farmers association in Rakra village 10 km from here.

The Chief Secretary added the recent inclement weather had damaged crop in 1.5 lakh acres across the state. Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal has ordered the secretaries to monitor the survey for assessing damage to crops.

The compensation for damage to crops due to inclement weather has also been increased. Earlier a compensation of Rs 2000 per acre was given for more than 70 per cent damage to crop. However, now it has been increased to Rs 5000 per acre.

The compensation would be paid to the farmers at the earliest, he said.

When asked about the action being taken against former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet colleague Chaudhary Jagjit Singh in Ludhiana city centre scam, he said action would be based on facts that come up in the case. The Vigilance bureau has been given freedom to probe the case.

The Chief Secretary speaking on the occasion, urged the farmers to diversify from the traditional cropping pattern. Cultivation of paddy particularly was having adverse impact on the underground water in the state.

Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister DS Guru said profitability in agriculture was going down due to increasing costs of inputs. Economy of Punjab is dependent on agriculture and government would take steps to increase profitability of agriculture.

Organisers of the function gave Dr Amrik Singh Cheema award to the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.

During the programme new wheat varieties including HD-2852, HD-2894 and WR-544 were demonstrated to the farmers. Experts urged the farmers to give up predominantly used PBW-343 wheat variety in favour of the new varieties. The PBW-343 variety has very little tolerance to heat and has completed its life cycle.

They also urged the farmers to opt for basmati instead of traditional paddy as it requires very less water.