Dec 27, 2012, 06.14 PM IST | Source: PTI

Punjab govt dubs Rs 65 a quintal hike in Wheat MSP as paltry

Punjab govt dubs Rs 65 a quintal hike in Wheat MSP as paltry

Chandigarh, Dec 26 (PTI) Punjab government today flayed the Centre for announcing a "paltry" hike of Rs 65 per quintal in support price of wheat to Rs 1,350 per quintal and demanded it to be refixed at Rs 1,800 per quintal. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in a statement issued here, said the non-remunerative minimum support price (MSP) coupled with "anti-farmer" policies of Centre were primarily responsible for the slowdown in farm growth. Badal said his government has been constantly pleading the case of Punjab's beleaguered peasantry, thereby demanding MSP of at least Rs 1,800 per quintal in line with the escalation of agricultural inputs. "....the Centre must have announced an increase of Rs 500 per quintal instead of this paltry sum of Rs 65, which was too little, too inadequate to compensate the dejected farmers," he said. Factors like withdrawal of subsidy on fertilisers and a near threefold hike in the cost of DAP (diammonium phosphate) has put financial strain on farmers, he added. "Therefore, it is obligatory on the part of the government of India to announce an adequate hike in the MSP of Wheat at Rs 1800 per quintal," Badal said. Badal said it was a high time the Centre "wakes up from its deep slumber" and fixes MSP that provides a margin of 50 per cent over the cost of production to ensure remunerative prices to farmers. Cautioning the Centre to desist from implementing such "anti-farming" policies, the Chief Minister said, "failing it the Union government will be solely responsible for the decay of agriculture thereby putting the food security of the country in peril." The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved Rs 65 per quintal hike in the support price of wheat to Rs 1,350 per quintal and allowed additional exports of 2.5 million tonnes of wheat from its godowns to clear surplus stock and ease storage crunch. PTI CHS HU

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