Punjab farmers lift dharna following assurance from Pawar

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) Farmers from Punjab today lifted their two-day long dharna here following an assurance from Union Agriculture and Food Minister Sharad Pawar that the Central government would review the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 675 per quintal of paddy to give higher and renumerative price to the growers.

The dharna sponsored by the Bharati Kisan Union (Rajewal) at Jantar Mantar here was seeking higher procurement price for the current crop of rice(paddy) on the plea that the MSP fixed by the Centre ''does not even cover the cost of cultivation''.

A delegation of BKU leaders led by its president Balbir Singh Rajewal met Mr Pawar and impressed upon him that the Punjab farmers had spent about Rs 8000 crore on rearing the present paddy crop but they were expected to get Rs 6750 crore from the sale of the entire crop.

''How the farmers will survive... what is the option before the farmers already reeling under heavy debt?'' said Mr Rajewal amid the slogan-shouting farmers carrying banners and placards which assailed the government's policies towars the farmer sector.

The BKU leader claimed that Mr Pawar had told them that efforts would be made to compensate the growers, and a decision in this would taken within two-three days as Union Cabinet was expected to meet shortly.

Mr Pawar also told the farmer leaders that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Food Minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon were also in touch with him in this regard.


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