Sukhbir Badal for paddy MSP at Rs 1500 per quintal

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Chandigarh, Jun 4 (UNI) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy to Rs 1500 per quintal.

In a letter to the Prime Minister today, Mr Badal said this increase could help to sustain paddy even at its present level of production and protect the poorest from the fall-out of the vagaries of an increasingly adverse global market. The international food scenario appears to be rather grim and the only way to save the country from the throes of a grave food crisis is to make farming a lucrative profession, the letter said.

The administrative pricing structure for the two principle food grains, wheat and paddy, needs to be rationalised, Mr Badal stated in the letter.

Mr Badal said the Centre's proposed decision to hike paddy price to just Rs 1000 per quintal was totally unrealistic and out of place with international market realities and domestic needs. This marginal hike would be more than offset by the hike in the prices of the petroleum products announced by the government today, he added.

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