During the resumed hearing of a petition seeking the implementation of the minimum support price (MSP) policy for agricultural produce, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed Punjab and Haryana to come up with a mechanism for smooth lifting of various crops, including paddy, that arrive in the market.
The division bench, comprising acting chief justice Ashutosh Mohunta and justice Anupinder Singh Grewal, issued these directions on the petition filed by Gurnam Singh and other members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union of Haryana before adjourning the petition to October 1.
Making submissions before the bench, JS Toor, counsel for the petitioner, informed the court that paddy had already started arriving since September 15 and was not being bought. He said, “Farmers are being left to the discretion of the traders in the absence of nodal agencies. No one is buying the crop in accordance with the MSP fixed by the government.”
The petition claimed that the buyers, including the nodal agencies, traders of crops, directors, food and supplies, Punjab and Haryana, and the Cotton Corporation of India were not procuring the crops as per the MSP scheme.
The high court also impleaded the principal secretary, agriculture, Punjab, and managing director, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, as parties.
The court has already issued notices to the Centre, Punjab and Haryana governments, along with 10 nodal agencies assigned the role of buying the agricultural produce.
The petitioner union had alleged that the MSP had been fixed much below the actual cost of production and even that was not being provided to farmers.