Swaminathan reforms to help only if MSP for crop is fixed: Birender

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 29, 2015 11:24 IST
Union minister of rural development and panchayati raj Chaudhary Birender Singh. (HT Photo )

SAS Nagar: Not all crops in the country have minimum support price (MSP), which is a major roadblock the Union government faces in implementing the Swaminathan Commission recommendations on agricultural reforms.

“But the government is studying the recommendations and working towards resolving issues,” said Union minister of rural development and panchayati raj Chaudhary Birender Singh. Explaining the delay in implementing the recommendations, the minister said, “These will be beneficial to farmers only if the government decides minimum support price for each crop.”

Even after more than a year of coming to power at the Centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party has failed to implement the commission’s recommendations, though it was one of its election promises to farmers.

On encroached panchayat land

Expressing concern over the failure of the authorities concerned to free panchayat land from encroachment, Birender said: “The panches and sarpanches are hesitant to take legal recourse against the people who have grabbed panchayat land, which has encouraged more encroachment.” He said the task of freeing this land was of the local government and the panchayats themselves. Sources say more than 7,500 acres in SAS Nagar district is under encroachment.

Rs 40,000 cr to be spent on villages’ makeover

Stressing on rural development, the Union minister said `40,000 crore would be spent in the current financial year to give villages a makeover and to create maximum employment opportunities in the country. “Last year, `34,000 crore was kept aside for the same,” he said. Talking about the issue of unemployment, he said: “The Union government has prepared a detailed programme for skill development in India, and will spend Rs 1,500 crore on that to train more than 24 lakh young people.”

Airport likely to be named after martyr

About the proposal to rename the SAS Nagar international airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the Union minister said: “The matter is under consideration and a decision is likely soon.”

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