MSP policy: HC issues notices to Centre, Pb, Hry

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2014 22:39 IST

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued fresh notices to the Centre, Punjab and Haryana governments, along with 10 nodal agencies assigned the role of purchasing the agricultural produce, on a petition seeking the implementation of the minimum support price (MSP) policy of agricultural produce.

The petition, filed by Gurnam Singh and other members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union of Haryana, came up for hearing on Tuesday. The fresh notices were issued after the respondents did not receive the notices. The case will come up for hearing on September 26.

The petitioner union alleged that the MSP had been fixed much below the actual cost of production and even this was not being provided to farmers.

The petitioner had submitted, “These are the reasons that the farmers are being pushed to a state of affairs where they have no option but to commit suicide. The National Crime Records Bureau record shows that between 1995 and 2010, there were 2.56 lakh suicides of Indian farmers. A substantial number of these are related to the impact of the agrarian crises.”

It was submitted that last year, the MSP for sunflower was Rs 3,700 per quintal, but it was purchased for Rs 2,600-2,900 per quintal. It was added that around 48,000 quintals of sunflower arrived at the Shahbad market for sale and the loss was calculated at an average of Rs 500 per quintal to farmers, which came out to be more than Rs 4 crore.

The production of maize in Punjab last year was 16 lakh tonnes and the MSP was Rs 1,600 per quintal, but the crop was sold at Rs 500-800 per quintal and the loss to farmers came out to be thousands of crores.
The petitioner union also sought directions that the losses caused to farmers should be fully compensated.

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