Chandigarh, September 13
President All India Kissan Congress and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira today urged Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to compensate all those farmers who did not get Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Moong, which they had sown after his commitment and suffered huge losses due to distress sale.
Khaira said he will soon be leading a delegation of farmers to meet the Chief Minister hoping he will fulfill the promise he had made by compensating the affected farmers.
At the same time, Khaira announced, that if the government fails to compensate farmers, they will be forced to launch a similar agitation in Chandigarh outskirts as the farmers launched outside Delhi to get three controversial farm laws repealed.
Based on information he collected from Punjab Mandi Board, Khaira disclosed that after Chief Minister Mann promised MSP on Moong to encourage farmers for diversification, they (the farmers) went for Moong cultivation leading to a production of 4,86,025 quintals.
However, he added, the government only purchased 54,761 quintals, which comes to a mere 11 percent.
With the result, Khaira said, 89 percent of farmers went for distress sale and their crops sold between Rs 3000 and 5000 per quintal, thus causing massive losses to them.
He said, on average, the farmers suffered a loss of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per acre, which the government must compensate.
“It was only after repeated commitments and assurances by the Chief Minister that the farmers had gone ahead with Moong cultivation”, he pointed out, while hoping that the CM will not run away from the commitment he made publicly and repeatedly.
“And it is our moral duty as a responsible opposition to make the government fulfill its commitments”, he remarked.
The Kissan Congress President said he and his party had told the Chief Minister at the time of the budget that the amount allocated for MSP of Moong was too small to make up for the entire crop.
He said, Rs 66 crores allocated for Moong’s purchase was too small and as a result, farmers were left at the mercy of private buyers.
He referred to growing distress among farmers that had led to about 60 suicides in the last six months.
“Nothing has changed for the farmers as they remain as distressed today as they were before the formation of this government”, he said, while pointing out, that the AAP government was reneging on all its promises and commitments it had made to farmers.
Khaira also demanded compensation for the cotton and paddy growers who had suffered for different reasons.
He said while cotton growers had suffered huge losses due to spurious seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, the paddy growers had suffered due to floods caused by unseasonal rains in which at several places there was a hundred percent damage to crops.
The firebrand Congress legislator said he will try to convince the Chief Minister to concede the farmers’ demands.
“We won’t be ungrateful if he concedes the genuine demands and we will thank him”, he said, while warning at the same time, “if the government does not accept our demands, it must be prepared for a Delhi-like protest dharna in the outskirts of Chandigarh which will not be lifted, come what may, till the demands are not met”.