Strongly contending to make agriculture occupation far more profitable and economically viable, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today urged the Prime Minister to immediately implement the Swaminathan formula for determining the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of the crops.
Badal called on the Prime Minister here at his official residence 7-RCR this morning.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that Badal pleaded for MSP to be fixed according to the guidelines stipulated by eminent agriculture economist Dr. MS Swaminathan thus allowing the farmers to get MSP which should cover production costs plus 50 per cent as profit and hoped it would help to bail out the distressed peasantry from the current agrarian crisis.
Batting for diversification as one of the ways to help the beleaguered farmers of the state, the Chief Minister said that the central agency-Food Corporation of India (FCI) should procure maize and sunflower on the pattern of wheat and paddy at MSP.
Flagging up another issue to convert Crop Diversification program to Agriculture Diversification, the Chief Minister impressed upon Modi that the states should be allowed to implement Agriculture Diversification program realizing the ground realities and local needs. Badal also requested him to strengthen and expand this program to cover not only crop diversification but also allied and subsidiary occupations such as Dairy, Fisheries, Piggery, Fruit & Vegetables cultivation & processing and Bee-keeping.
To ensure overall development and prosperity in the Livestock Sector across the state, the Chief Minister requested Modi to declare Animal Husbandry and allied agriculture activities like dairy, piggery, goatry, fishery, bee keeping etc. at par with agriculture for exemption of income tax, interest rate etc. Likewise, he also demanded exemption from the custom duty on the import of machinery for dairy farming and livestock rearing.
Asking Modi to restore refinance by NABARD to Cooperative Banks, which has now been reduced from Rs. 6300 crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 4600 crore during the current fiscal, the Chief Minister requested him to immediately enhance the refinance to Rs. 7000 crore.
River water being the lifeline of the farmers in the state, Badal sought personal intervention of Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) for early clearance of various irrigation projects stuck up at different stages in the Ministry worth Rs. 4418 crore including extension, renovation and modernization of canal fed by River Satluj, rehabilitation of UBDC system and re-lining of Rajasthan and Sirhind feeders.
Assuring Badal of positive outcome during the deliberations, the Prime Minister told the Chief Minister that he would soon get all the issues resolved on priority.