Amid fierce stand-off on farm legal guidelines with Punjab farmers, Centre says paddy, cotton procurement at MSP happening ‘easily’ in state

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 31

Amid the fierce stand-off on farm laws with farmers, particularly in Punjab, the Centre says paddy and cotton procurement at MSP are going on smoothly in the state. The Agriculture Ministry, which is keeping close tab on the ongoing operations, says of the total purchase of 197.19 LMT this season, Punjab has so far contributed 136.47 LMT – 69.21 per cent of total procurement across the country.

In the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21, the government continues to procure Kharif 2020-21 crops at its MSP from farmers as per its existing MSP Schemes, as was done in previous seasons, according to the latest statement by the ministry.

“Paddy procurement for Kharif 2020-21 is progressing fast in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Gujarat with purchase of over 197.19 LMTs of paddy up to October 30 against the last year’s 159.76 LMT, an increase of 23.43 per cent over last year. About 16.62 lakh farmers have already been benefited from the ongoing KMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs 37,230.35 crore,” read the statement.   

Besides, based on the proposal from the states, approval was accorded for procurement of 45.10 LMT of pulses and oilseeds from states, including Haryana and Rajasthan, under Price Support Scheme (PSS).

“Procurement of seed cotton (kapas) under MSP is going on smoothly in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. Till October 30, 6,03,711 cotton bales valuing Rs 1,76,068 lakh has been procured benefitting 1,14,376 farmers,” it added.

As farmers get ready to escalate protests, officials claim the intent behind the Central Acts is to ensure that “farmers have a greater choice in the agreements they enter into and can mutually finalise prices with buyers based on quality, variety, etc. in addition to continued access to MSP procurement by the government”.

Expanding the ambit of farmers protests against the three Central Agriculture Acts, major organisations will be holding countrywide ‘chakka jam’ (road blockade) on November 5 and a ‘Dilli chalo abhiyaan’ later in the month.

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