Centre’s bonus on wheat unjustified: Badal

April 16th, 2011 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, April 16 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Saturday condemned the central government for announcing a bonus of just Rs.50 per quintal of wheat and demanded higher bonus price for the farmers.

“We reject the bonus of only Rs.50 per quintal on wheat over and above the MSP (Minimum Support Price) of Rs.1,120 per quintal for the current Rabi marketing season. It is much delayed and unjustified,” said Badal.

“Non-remunerative MSP coupled with anti-farmer policies of the centre were primarily responsible for the slowdown of the agricultural growth. We demand MSP of at least Rs.1,400 per quintal of wheat from the government. The MSP demanded by farming community is far below the price at which the country has been importing wheat from Australia,” Badal stated.

The central government had recently raised the MSP of wheat by Rs.20 per quintal, taking it to Rs.1,120.

“The centre’s decision to pay a bonus of Rs.50 per quintal on wheat over and above the MSP of Rs.1,120 per quintal could never be the answer to the agony of the farming community. Punjab’s farmers are already in distress due to low returns on their produce and exorbitant cost of agricultural inputs incurred by them on diesel, fertilizers and pesticides,” stated Badal.

Punjab alone contributes over 55 percent to the total food grain in the country. In 2010, Punjab procured nearly 105 lakh tonnes of wheat.

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