Flaying the SAD-BJP government for its “unpreparedness” and failure to make proper arrangements for prurchase of paddy, state congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira alleged that farmers were being forced to resort to distress sale at Rs. 250 to Rs. 300 below the minimum support price (MSP).
“Although the Badals claim to be friends of the farmers, when it comes to procurement of their crops, the Akali government turns a blind eye,” he alleged, adding that the government had “literally forced” the farmers to sow PUSA-44 and PUSA-122 varieties of paddy in the state, which had developed diseases and turned black due to bad weather.
Besides, the moisture content of the grain is higher than the 17% required by the government, due to the inclement weather. Even other varieties are becoming discoloured, leading to non-purchase by procuring agencies, including the Food Corporation of India, Markfed, Punsup and Warehousing Corporation.
The little crop that has been procured is not being lifted from the grain markets, and if the rain continues, commission agents and farmers will have to bear the brunt, he added.