Chandigarh, June 1, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Rejecting the paddy MSP hike announced by the central government as totally inadequate, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said the Government of India had failed to address the extreme distress faced by the farmers even amid the Covid crisis.
The debt-ridden and stressed farming community was looking to the Centre to come to their rescue in these times of unprecedented woes, but the much-needed support once again eluded them, said the Chief Minister, describing the paltry Rs 53 per quintal hike in paddy MSP as shamefully woeful.
Far from compensating the farmers for the increased cost of production, particularly the hike in the labour cost, the increase was not even sufficient to compensate them for the crops losses suffered by them due to the untimely rains in March and April, Captain Amarinder said.
The central government had not come out with any special package for the farmers, nor had it accepted the state’s demand for incentive for staggered wheat procurement or the Rs 100 per quintal bonus for paddy straw management, the Chief Minister pointed out.
Captain Amarinder noted that notwithstanding the immense hardships faced by them on account of the Covid pandemic, Punjab’s farmers had ensured successful completion of a mega Rabi harvesting and procurement operation to once again provide the nation the much-needed food security amid this unprecedented crisis.
What they wanted in exchange was not charity but their due, bit the BJP-led government at the Centre continued to ignore their justified demands and needs, said the Chief Minister.
Captain Amarinder recalled that in his letter to the Prime Minister early last month, he had requested paddy MSP to be hiked to Rs 2902 per quintal, as against which the Government of India had announced MSP of only Rs. 1868 per quintal.
He urged the Centre to immediately review its decision and come out with a comprehensive support package, including higher MSP, incentives to check stubble burning and compensation for the crop losses as well as the staggered wheat procurement process.