Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann seeks rollback of restrictions on basmati exports
Addressing the gathering during ‘Kisan Mela’ organised at the Punjab Agricultural University, the CM said, “This decision will do considerable damage to the economic situation of the farmers as well as the traders.”
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday said that the restrictions on exports of basmati rice imposed by the Union government are against the interests of the farmers and demanded its immediate rollback.
Addressing the gathering during ‘Kisan Mela’ organised here at the Punjab Agricultural University, the CM said, “This decision will do considerable damage to the economic situation of the farmers as well as the traders.”
He said that the Union government has fixed the Minimum Export Price of the Basmati at $1200 ( ₹99,000 approx) per tonne, which adversely hits the domestic price of the crop.
Mann said that the union government must remove all these restrictions to safeguard the interests of the farmers from the state.
He said on the one hand the state government is making concerted efforts for crop diversification by encouraging the farmers to produce moong, basmati and other alternative crops, but on the other, these ‘steps’ of the Union government are giving major setback to it,”.
The CM said that this decision is anti-farmer and anti-state adding that the state government will vehemently oppose this move.
He said that in the wake of these restrictions, the state government is contemplating selling the basmati crop to states like Kerala, West Bengal and others.
The CM further slammed the Union government for stalling the Rural Development Fund (RDF).
He said that even though the state government has removed all the ambiguities, the Centre has not released the funds yet.
Mann said to cope with the problem of paddy straw burning, the state government had mooted the idea of compensating the farmers by giving them ₹2,500 per acre.
“Out of this ₹1,500 was to be given by the central government, and ₹1,000 was to be shared by the state government. However, instead of agreeing to this demand, the Union government rejected it without any logic,” he said.