With farmers facing difficulties in selling their produce, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday said the specifications laid down by the union government were creating hindrance in the smooth procurement of paddy in the state.
Speaking on the inaugural function of Saras fair here, the chief minister said the union government had set the criteria for purchasing of the crops arbitrarily without ascertaining the ground realities in the states, which was creating problems in the paddy procurement.
Despite being subject, agriculture was totally taken over by the centre and the state governments had virtually no role to play, regretted Badal, adding that on its part the Punjab government had made elaborated arrangements to procure the harvest in a hassle free and prompt manner.
He further said it was the foremost duty of the state government to ensure a hassle-free procurement of the farmers' produce to facilitate them.
Badal claimed that the state government had set up 1,795 purchase centers across the state for smooth procurement of the paddy.
'BJP-led NDA to form next government at Centre'
Speaking over the prospect of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) forming the next government at the Centre, the chief minister said that he could give it in writing that the BJP-led NDA would form the next government after the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.
Opinion polls conducted by various agencies were clearly indicating that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had lost its ground owing to failure on all fronts, said Badal.
"The countrymen are fed up by incidents of blatant corruption, inflation, unemployment and poverty prevailing in the country due to misrule of the UPA government and are eagerly waiting for the general elections to teach the Congress Party a lesson for its sinister activities," he said.
Promises all out efforts to preserve handicrafts
Expressing concern over vanishing handicrafts in the country, Badal said the Punjab government would make all out efforts to preserve the depleting art in the state.
Speaking on the importance of Saras fair, the chief minister said it was a healthy platform for craftsmen and artisans from across the country to showcase their rare talent.
"The handicrafts are a part of the rich legacy of the vibrant culture of India, which requires encouragement from the government by opening more avenues to the craftsmen and artisans for their work," said Badal.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Punjab panchayat minister Surjit Singh Rakhra, Member of Parliament Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, chief parliamentary sectaries Parkash Chand Garg and Balbir Singh Ghunas, member legislative assembly Iqbal Singh Jhhunda and others.