Badal rejects MSP on cotton; seeks Rs 4420 per quintal
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today outrightly rejected Minimum Support Price (MSP) of cotton announced by the Centre describing it as 'woefully inadequate and unjustified." Mr Badal demanded its re-fixation at Rs 4420 per quintal to offset the recent massive increase in the rates of farm inputs.
The Centre had yesterday fixed Rs 3600 as MSP of short staple cotton, Rs 3900 as MSP of long staple cotton and the MSP of cotton produced in Punjab was fixed at Rs 3800 per quintal.
In a statement here, the Chief Minister said the MSP of Rs 3800 per quintal on cotton, which was normally produced in Punjab, for the current Rabi marketing season was much below the expectations of the farmers and termed it as a "cruel joke with the already distressed cotton growers." The Chief Minister said the non-remunerative MSP coupled with anti-farmer policies of Centre was primarily responsible for the slowdown of the agricultural growth.
He said his government had been constantly pleading the case of Punjab's beleaguered peasantry that was in shambles and demanded MSP of at least Rs 4420 per quintal of cotton to give much needed boost to the cotton production in the Malwa belt thereby motivating the farmers to go for crop diversification.