Akali Dal slams insufficient paddy support price hike

June 10th, 2011 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh June 10 (IANS) Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal Friday termed as insufficent the Rs.80 per quintal hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy announced by the union government.

Describing it a cruel joke on the farming community, already reeling under ever mounting debt, Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the state’s deputy chief minister, regretted that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had ignored the recommendations of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) that had recommended Rs.160 hike in paddy’s MSP.

Badal said while the union government had admitted a 64 percent rise in the cost of agricultural inputs, the paddy MSP had been increased by a mere seven percent.

Accusing the centre of an anti-farmer bias, he said that the government had a pro-MNC bias.

“By not accepting the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission report linking MSP with the wholesale price index (WPI), the Congress party was reflecting its pro-MNC bias,” he said.

He said that a recent study of the Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA) has concluded that every year, the union government was squeezing out Rs. 6,000 crore from Punjab’s farmers by offering a lower MSP.

He demanded that the MSP for paddy should be at least Rs.1,500 per quintal against the present Rs.1,080.

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