Badal urges PM to waive of agri debt of Punjab farmers

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Chandigarh, Feb 25 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for one-time waiver of agriculture debt to save the beleaguered peasantry of the state from the back-breaking burden of debt.

This was disclosed by Media Advisor to Chief Minister Harcharan Bains. Mr Bains said Dr Singh's response was positive and constructive.

Elaborating on the meeting between the two leaders in New Delhi this evening, Mr Bains said the Prime Minister agreed that the farmers had contributed immensely to make India self-reliant in the food production.

Appreciating the concern of Mr Badal for fixing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat to at least Rs 1400 per quintal for the ensuing Rabi season, the Prime Minister assured him that he would soon involve the Ministry of Agriculture and the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices for an upward revision in this regard.

Earlier, Mr Badal also had a meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to discuss the farmers' issues.

In another significant development, the Prime Minister also assured the Chief Minister to take up the matter of relining for the Rajasthan Feeder and Sirhind Feeder Canals at the cost of Rs 650 crore with the Ministry of Water Resources at the priority. Dr Singh also assured the Chief Minister that he would soon direct the Ministry of Railway for the construction of 37 km new railway link from Mallanwala on Jalandhar-Ferozepur line to Ratoke on Amritsar-Khemkaran line for which the Railways had already conducted the survey.

The Prime Minister also assured Mr Badal that he would ask the Ministry of Human Resources to clear the pending project of the setting up of Central University in Punjab without any further delay.

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