Punjab & Region

Sukhbir slams export ban on wheat

Chandigarh, May 16
Shiromani Akali Dal President S Sukhbir Singh Badal today came down heavily against the Union Govt decision to ban the export of wheat and demanded compensation of Rs 500 per quintal of wheat for the beleaguered farmers for the double whammy of “ weather-driven calamity of drastic lower yield on the one hand and the shrunken market following export ban on the other. “ Badal demanded that the export ban be lifted immediately to stop an artificially created fall in demand for farmers’ produce. A fall in demand will have a negative spiral impact on the entire economy. The farmers and farm labourers will be the worst sufferers but no economic segment nor any section of society will escape its negative short term and long term consequences. “ He said that withdrawal of export ban has become all the more necessary now that the farmers especially in Punjab have suffered a huge and unbearable blow because of an estimated 33% lower wheat yield because of unexpected weather fluctuations. The SAD chief said that the govt must apply uniform standards and adopt identical policies about fall in productivity and production in industry and agriculture. Giving the example of fall in steel production, Mr Badal said that as a result of fall in production, steel prices have skyrocketed but there is no export ban on steel. “ on the contrary, Whenever there is a similar situation of reduced productivity in trade and industry, the govt always comes to the aid of the producers or manufacturers through liberal subsidisation and loan waivers to big industrial or corporate houses. Why should this yardstick not apply to farmers who are the real backbone of the economy and the breadwinners or Annadata of the nation ?” Mr Badal asked