*INCREASE IN MSP SHOULD IN CONSONANCE WITH INCREASE IN PRICE OF AGRICULTURE INPUTS INCLUDING FERTILIZERS
*CRITICISES UPA GOVERNMENT FOR SLOW LIFTING OF GRAIN FROM PUNJAB
*DEMANDS EXPORT OF WHEAT AND RICE TO WEST-ASIAN AND GULF COUNTRIES THROUGH WAGAH BORDER
AMRITSAR – The Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, today rejected the proposed hike of Rs 150 MSP for wheat for 2012-13 Rabbi crop as suggested by Agriculture Cost Price Commission (ACPC) and demanded minimum Rs 2200 MSP in consonance with step hike in cost of agriculture inputs.
Talking to media persons here today after dedicating to the people of Amritsar seven development projects with combined cost of Rs 138 crore, Mr. Badal said that it is matter of great regret that on one hand the price of DAP fertilizers has risen from Rs 437 per bag during last season to 1125 per bag this season due to withdrawal of subsidy on fertilizer, the Congress led UPA government was trying to befool the people by announcing meager hike of Rs 230. He said that Shiromanin Akali Dal had been demanding implementation of recommendations of Swaminathan Commission, linking MSP of Agriculture produce with cost of agriculture inputs but congress party to protect the interests of multinational companies was scuttling its proposal. He said that on one hand they have decontrolled the sale of fertilizers, giving freedom to the companies to fix price as per their whims, resulting in more than doubling price of DAP within six months but trying to befool the people by meager hike in MSP. He said that Shiromani Akali Dal would not sit quite till hike in MSP of wheat was not in consonance with hike in price of DAP.
Lashing at Congress led UPA Government for deliberately slowing the movement of old procured paddy from Punjab to other beneficiary states through rail routes, Mr. Badal said that congress party was trying to create problems in the procurement of paddy this season. He said that Punjab government had been requesting union government to expedite the movement of grain from Punjab, allocate more funds to the state for making storage space for procure wheat and paddy besides additional allocation for post harvest technology. He said that SAD-BJP government has already activated procurement machinery in 1745 procurement centers in the state and would ensure smooth procurement of every grain from the Mandis of the state. He said that the state government has already tied up the funds allocation to ensure payments to the farmers within 72 hours of lifting of produce from the Mandis.
Demanding open trade of wheat and rice, the Deputy Chief Minister said that farmers of Punjab should be allowed to export wheat and rice to other countries through land route via Wagah border. He said that there was a great demand for Indian wheat and Basmati rice in the Gulf countries especially in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan and Punjabi farmers can benefit a lot if they were allowed export of their agriculture produce to these countries.
Earlier, Mr. Badal laid the foundation stones of Amritsar-Ajnala Airport road worth Rs. 18.57 Crore, flyover at Kitchloo Chowk worth Rs. 22 Crore, Heritage Village in GNDU campus worth Rs. 12 Crore, four lanning of Majitha road worth Rs. 8.34 Crore, development works of Goal Bagh worth Rs. 5 Crore, CCTV Cameras at police station C-Division worth 3.80 Crore, multilane high level bridge on UBDC worth Rs. 25.30 Crore, four lanning of road along side UBDC canal in front of police post at Taran Wala bridge worth Rs. 9.21 Crore and 8 lanning of Amritsar gate to Bhandari bridge at Amritsar Jalandhar GT Road worth Rs. 34 Crore besides inaugurating trade fair ‘Destination Punjab-2011’ by CII.
Prominent amongst others Mr. Tikshan Sud, Minister for Industries, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, former minister, Inderbir Singh Bularia, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Shawet Malik, Mayor Amritsar, Mr. Harpal Singh Past Chairman, CII Northern Region and Mrs. Kamna Raj Aggarwala, Chairperson of CII Punjab were also present on the occasion.