Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconstitute the committee on minimum support price (MSP) for crops by giving due representation to Punjab.
In a letter marked to the Prime Minister, Home Minister Amit Shah and Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar, Mann said, “It is ironical that the state which has most successfully implemented MSP since the initiation of this scheme has been kept out the committee.”
The Chief Minister said the Union government recently constituted the committee regarding MSP under the chairmanship of former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal.
Mann said that in this committee, several experts and senior officials from various states have been included as members, but none from Punjab.
Apprising Modi, Mann said that Punjab had played a vital role in making the country self-sufficient in food grains by contributing about 35-40 per cent of wheat and 25-30 per cent of rice to the central pool in the last one decade.
He said it is worth mentioning that 60-62 million tonnes of wheat and rice, most of which are produced by the hard working farmers of the state, are distributed every year to about 800 million people of the country at highly subsidised rates under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
Mann added that everyone is well aware of the fact that these government welfare programmes for the poor have been made possible due to the immense contribution of Punjab.
The Chief Minister further said that during 2021-22, out of the total global rice exports of about 54 million tonnes, India contributed about 21.5 million tonnes (about 40 per cent of total export).
Punjab has contributed heavily towards these rice exports, despite the fact that paddy is not the staple food of Punjabis. He underlined that keeping in view the key role of Punjab in ushering the Green Revolution and making the country food grain surplus, due representation must be given to the state by reconstituting the MSP.