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Last Updated : Oct 23, 2019 09:50 PM IST | Source: PTI

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh calls hike in wheat MSP inadequate, cosmetic measure

The Centre on Wednesday increased the MSP for wheat by Rs 85 to Rs 1,925 per quintal.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on October 23 called the Centre's decision to hike minimum support price (MSP) of wheat by Rs 85 per quintal as "inadequate", saying it isn't enough to even meet the increase in input costs. Terming it a "mere cosmetic" measure that only paid "lip service" to the needs of the farmers, the chief minister said the hike is "insufficient" to provide even interim relief to the beleaguered farming community, leave alone to address their long-term concerns.

The Centre on Wednesday increased the MSP for wheat by Rs 85 to Rs 1,925 per quintal.

Amarinder also flayed the central government over its failure to announce a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal, which Punjab has been demanding repeatedly for post-harvest management of stubble.

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This shows "total lack of concern" on the part of the Modi government for welfare of the farmers, who are living in pitiable condition with many of them driven to suicide across the nation, Amarinder said in an official statement here.

He pointed out that the MSP hike for wheat does not meet the state government's demand for 50 per cent hike over and above C2 (a comprehensive cost, accounting for the rentals and interest forgone on owned land, among others).

The increase announced by Centre does not meet the expectations of the distressed farming community and is inadequate to address the root of the problem as identified by the Swaminathan Commission, Amarinder said.

He reiterated the demand for in toto implementation of MS Swaminathan Commission's recommendations.

The Modi government has also failed to ensure the purchase of other crops at MSP to bring farmers out of the vicious wheat-rice cultivation cycle, which is depleting water table and impacting incomes of the farming community, he said.

The chief minister lamented the total "lack of empathy" for the farmers on the part of the BJP-led government at the Centre and said it has not taken a single meaningful initiative to alleviate farmers' woes since taking over more than five years ago.

In contrast to the Congress-led governments in Punjab and other states, the central government has not waived a single paisa of debt of farmers, who continue to reel under huge burdens, he added.

Amarinder pointed out that loans to the tune of Rs 4,609.08 crore have been settled by his government for 5.61 lakh marginal and small farmers in the state so far.

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First Published on Oct 23, 2019 09:48 pm
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