Chandigarh June 13, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said here today that his party will never compromise on the issue of assured procurement of the farmers’ paddy and wheat by the government agencies at the Minimum Support Price as this was a question of life and death for our beleaguered peasantry.
The former Deputy CM of Punjab said, “The SAD is in the government at the centre to ensure that the interests of Punjabis in general and the farmers and the other poor segments are fully safeguarded .”
The SAD president said that he saw no threat to the present MSP regime at this stage. But if at any stage,MSP and assured procurement are tinkered with, the SAD will not remain a mute witness to such injustice and will fight till the injustice is vacated.
“ SAD is fully conscious of the party’s historic role as the voice and the conscience of the people in every sphere – from the farmers interests to the federal structure in the country. Not just the Punjabis but the whole country looks at us for lead, guidance and inspiration in the realization of regional aspirations, including the aspirations of Punjabis in general and of the farmers and other poor segments of society in particular.
We will live up to those traditions and those expectations in every sphere,” said Mr Badal in a statement here, adding that farmers and federalism are the foundation on which the country’s long term economic growth and stability will stand.
Mr Badal said that the SAD is committed to ensuring that the present MSP regime with assured official procurement of farmers’ produce is neither disturbed nor diluted in any way. “We will never be a party to any decision that seeks to change or dilute this arrangement,” he said, adding that he and his party were “ready for everything in case the farmers’ interests come under threat from any adverse change in the present arrangement of official purchase.
“The SAD will go to any length, including launching mass action,in order to protect the rights and the interests of every Punjabi, including and especially the farmers who are the backbone of Punjab’s identity, ” said Mr Badal.
The former Deputy Chief Minister said that the procurement system in the country needs to be further strengthened and refined and its scope widened. It is necessary to diversify the range of the MSP regime in order to diversify agriculture, a key requirement for providing a boost to India’s rural economy.
Mr Badal said that right now, the costs of inputs and of other variables needed for farm production have gone up exponentially whereas the prices of the farmers’ produce have not only remained at a standstill, but have actually declined drastically when you account for inflation . This has resulted in a drastic reduction of the farmers’ real income, ” said the Akali president
Mr Badal also said that the MSP of wheat and paddy also needs to be buttressed by additional support from the state governments in the form of bonus.”At the moment, MSP and official procurement of wheat and paddy just about covers the costs of production leaving the farmer with almost nothing as profit. It is here that the state government must chip in with some help,” he said.