With the Centre refusing to implement the MS Swaminathan Commission formula to fix Minimum Support Prices (MSP), Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday cautioned that if the report's recommendations are not implemented, agriculture in the country would be doomed.
Interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a function to observe the martyrdom day of Praja Mandal leader Shaheed Bhagat Singh Dhadogal on Sunday, Badal said, "The Centre must form a committee on how to make agriculture profitable. A concrete action plan is needed to bail-out farmers from the agrarian crisis and to check suicides by farmers. This committee's recommendations must be given quickly and implemented in a time-bound manner."
"Agriculture is no longer a profitable venture as its input cost have increased manifold whereas the farmers are not getting remunerative prices of their harvest," the CM said, adding that the Centre had the power to draw policy on agriculture and the states had no role in fixing the prices of crops or of agriculture inputs.
Dr MS Swaminathan's formulae on fixing the MSP of crops must be implemented for the safeguarding the interests of the peasantry. "Any further delay in this regard will end up ruining agriculture in the country," he claimed.
On former chief minister Amarinder Singh's allegations and statements against the state government and the Badal family, he claimed that some people had launched a malicious campaign to suit their vested interests.
Badal said that throughout his political career of over 60 years, he had been a votary of morality in politics. "It is unfortunate that mudslinging against each other has become a fashion in today's polity. This needs to be avoided."
Addressing the gathering, the CM said it was a matter of great pride for the state that 80% of those martyred in the national freedom struggle belonged to the state.
"The state government is duty-bound to preserve Punjab's rich heritage of sacrifice, nationalism and patriotism as Punjabis had played a key role in emancipating the country from the yoke of foreign imperialism," he added.
Cabinet ministers Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Surjit Singh Rakhra, chief parliamentary secretary Babu Parkash Chand Garg, MLAs Iqbal Singh Jhoonda and Gobind Singh Longowal and others were also present.