Thursday, 28 August 2014

'Ensure purchase of maize by state in place of passing buck to centre,' Congress to Badal

JALANDHAR: Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjeet Singh has asked Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to ask Centre to allow National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) to purchase maize from state farmers instead of passing the buck to union government.

Referring to the chief minister's proposal to ask Centre to allow NAFED to purchase maize, Rana said, it amounted to running away from responsibility. "Seven state governments in India including Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bihar were already purchasing maize from their farmers then why can Punjab not do the same thing," he asked.

He pointed out that the farmers were going for distress sale by selling maize at as low as Rs 800 to Rs 1000 per quintal against the MSP of Rs 1310 per quintal. He said, about one lakh metric ton maize was being produced in Punjab by the farmers at the government's instance but most of it was not procured by the government thus forcing farmers to go for distress sale. Instead of purchasing the maize the government was trying diversionary tactics by asking the centre to allow one of its agencies to purchase maize which is just eyewash.

Taking a dig at Badal he remarked, "the Chief Minister either did not know the real facts or was simply misleading the people". "Since it is the NDA government at the centre of which, the Akali Dal is a part, Badal should use his good offices to get funds and procure maize of his own in the state and not leave the farmers at others mercy," he said.

Rana held that the state government should have properly planned the procurement policy before misleading farmers to grow maize. "After all no farmer produces any crop to go for distress sale particularly when he has been assured of a minimum support price", he added. Singh Badal,Madhya Pradesh,Congress,Chhattisgarh,Andhra Pradesh

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