Now, UP Farmers Demand Central Procurement

New Delhi, Sept 18: | Updated: Sep 19 2003, 05:30am hrs
After farmers of Punjab, it is now the turn for the farmers of Uttar Pradesh to demand mandatory procurement of paddy for the Central pool at the declared minimum support prices (MSPs).

Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan (KMS) convenor VM Singh said here on Thursday that the August 29 SC verdict had made it easier for the states farmers to demand mandatory procurement of paddy from the state. He said the farmers were making distress sales as the market price of paddy about Rs 200 per quintal less than the declared MSP. If mandatory procurement of paddy was done they could recover the loss of about Rs 3,000-4,000 crore as about 2,000 lakh quintal of paddy. Singh also threatened to launch an agitation if the government failed to procure paddy and rescue the farmers from distress sales.

On Wednesday, Punjab CM Amrinder Singh in an unprecedented gesture had participated in an agitation by farmers on the Parliament Street demanding that the Centre should raise MSP for the paddy and fund payment of sugarcane arrears to the growers. Last year too, Capt Singh had broken fresh ground by staging dharna along with his cabinet colleagues in front of the PMs residence demanding raising of MSP for paddy and procurement by FCI.