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UP short of wheat procurement target; demands MSP hike

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, May 12 (UNI) Demanding a hike of Rs 200 per quintal in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) fixed by the centre, the Uttar Pradesh government today admitted it would not be able to meet procurement target of wheat in the current Rabi season.

Replying to a question in UP assembly, food and civil supplies minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya said he would write to the centre for immediate increase of Rs 200 per quintal in the MSP so that farmers were attracted to sell wheat to government procurement agencies.

''At present, the MSP is Rs 650 per quintal with Rs 50 additional per quintal as bonus, which is at least Rs 200 short of what they get from private companies purchasing wheat,'' Mr Singh informed.

However, dissatisfied with the government's reply, BJP members staged a noisy walkout.

Raising the issue, RLD member Ajay Kumar criticised the centre's anti-farmer attitude for importing wheat at Rs 950 per quintal, while fixing Rs 700 per quintal for local farmers.

The minister said chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had already discussed the issue with Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and the latter had assured him he would to look in the matter.

Mr Singh maintained UP lacked resources to offer subsidy to farmers, so that they were attracted towards state owned procurement agencies.

UP had fixed a target to procure 27 lakh tonnes of wheat in the Rabi season. However, till April 30, only 23,000 tonne were purchased from farmers.

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