The Haryana chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on Thursday reiterated his demand for fixing minimum support price (MSP) for agricultural produce at 50% more than the cost of cultivation.
"The increase in the MSP will not only sustain farmers but also help in accelerating the growth of agriculture," Hooda said at 57th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, inaugurated the meeting and was attended by chief ministers of several states and Central ministers.
Endorsing the proposals of the 12 Five-Year Plan with its objective of achieving a faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth, the CM said the country's economy had exhibited tremendous resilience in the face of financial adversities.
Hooda said that during the 11th plan, 3,463 MW of power generation capacity was added in the state, though the power situation in the state suffered in the want of proper policy guidelines for the supply of coal and gas. "Due to short supply of coal, existing power plants are lying idle," he said, adding that the Centre proposed to allocate new coal blocks to Haryana power utilities, bereft of hydro and thermal sources, should be considered on priority in the new proposal.
Hooda pointed out that water was the most critical input for agriculture while the condition of water resources in the state was extremely precarious. ``Water availability in the state is only 14 MAF as compared to the requirement of 36 MAF. Although Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal has been constructed, it has not been operationalised inspite of the directions of the Supreme Court as Punjab has unilaterally terminated the water agreement, resulting in loss of water availability to Haryana'', he said.
Hooda also referred to the critical issue of CST compensation and said that Haryana had suffered loss of Rs. 3,100 crore on account of reduction of CST rate from 4 % to 2 % and during the current year also the loss would be to the tune of Rs. 3500-3600 crore. "Such a huge loss of over Rs. 6000 crore would have a crippling effect on the state finances, unless the state government is duly and promptly compensated for the loss'', he said.