The Centre has assured Punjab that Cotton Corporation of India(CCI) would immediately start procuring cotton at Minimum Support Price (MSP) in a big way from different markets across the state.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal recently met Union Textile Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar for seeking his personal intervention to direct the CCI to immediately enter in the market for the purchase of cotton at MSP.
BK Mishra, Chairman cum Managing Director, CCI has been to rush Chandigarh to hold discussions with Additional Chief Secretary (Development) and the Managing Director Markfed to work out the modalities for the purchase of cotton to CCI without any further delay.
Meanwhile, Punjab has sought relaxation in the norms for Cotton procurement in the wake of extensive damage to the cotton crop due to recent pest attack in the Malwa region of Punjab. The Centre has asked for a comprehensive proposal from the state to so as to enable to take a final call on this issue. Gangwar assured the Chief Minister that he would certainly get this proposal thoroughly examined from the CCI before allowing relaxation in the prescribed parameters/ norms for the purchase of cotton by it, in view of the prevailing weather conditions and there effects on the quality of cotton in the state.
Conceding to another demand for opening skill development centre in textile sector in the state, Gangwar asked the Chief Minister to forward a detailed proposal in this regard. He assured Badal that the Textile Ministry was open to help the states inclined to develop Textile industry under the existing schemes. The Chief Minister also urged the Centre to initiate necessary steps expeditiously for the revival of sick unit of Dhariwal Woolen Textile Mills at Dhariwal in Gurdaspur district, which had been closed down for the past several years as this mill had a huge potential for employment generation in the border areas of the region. The Union Minister was receptive to all the issues raised by Badal and assured sympathetic consideration especially to help the farmers from the situation of acute economic distress on account of climatic abrasion.
Punjab Chief Minister has shown his concern about agriculture. Addressing the gathering during a program organised to commemorate 113th birth anniversary of Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan in New Delhi Badal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to constitute a high level committee comprising agriculture experts, prominent farmer leaders and economists to suggest ways and means for making agriculture a profitable venture, as a real tribute to Lok Nayak.
The Chief Minister said that the dream of JP could never be fulfilled if the farmers of the country continue to reel under prevailing agrarian crisis. He urged the Prime Minister that this committee should be asked to submit its recommendations within three months regarding how to eradicate poverty and make noble profession of agriculture profitable.