Chandigarh, December 10, 2023 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and ensure that cotton was procured at the appropriate minimum support price (MSP) in Punjab, asserting he had received complaints from farmers that Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) had downgraded the msp of cotton in Punjab and was procuring it in bits and spurts.
In a statement here, the SAD president said it was shocking that instead of giving an msp of Rs 6920 per quintal for long staple cotton as was done earlier, the CCI had imposed a quality cut of Rs 150 and was giving an msp of Rs 6770 per quintal to farmers.
He said farmers in the Abohar belt were suffering because the CCI was procuring the produce in bits and spurts. He said procurement was stopped on November 30 and restarted on December 7 only. He said even after that the procurement was stopped on December 9 and was now likely to be restarted on December 12.
Mr Sukhbir Badal said the repeated stoppage of procurement was forcing farmers to sell to private players who were purchasing the produce in the price range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 5200 per quintal. He said farmers were forced to go in for distress sale as they could neither transport their produce long distances nor store it. He said out of nearly 3.5 lakh quintals of cotton which had been procured in the State CCI had procured only one lakh quintals.
Urging the Prime Minister to issue necessary instructions to ensure uninterrupted and smooth procurement of cotton, he also appealed that farmers be give an msp of Rs 6920 and that arrears be paid to farmers who had sold their produce at Rs 6770 to CCI.