The Punjab Congress has demanded that the Centre announce bonus of Rs. 200 per quintal over and above the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat.
A deputation of Congress MPs, led by state party president Partap Singh Bajwa, on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum. The MPs who accompanied Bajwa were union minister of state for information and broadcasting Manish Tewari, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Santosh Chaudhary, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Sukhdev Singh Libra and Vijay Inder Singla.
Bajwa told the Prime Minister that Punjab, the food bowl of India, was expecting record production of 150 lakh tonnes of wheat despite adverse conditions.
He said the Centre had announced Rs. 1,350 MSP for wheat, which was inadequate since it did not cover the cost of production, which came to be around Rs. 1,700 per quintal. The Punjab Congress president told the PM that the working group on agriculture production, headed by Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had recommended that the MSP should be 50% more than the cost of cultivation.
Bajwa stated that the meagre increase of Rs. 65 per quintal in wheat MSP did not compensate farmers for the increase in input costs.