Raipur: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has once again written letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him procurement of paddy in Chhattisgarh at Rs 2500 per quintal and inclusion of 32 lakh metric tons of rice from Chhattisgarh into central pool. Chief Minister stated in his letter that every year, a large quantity of paddy is procured under D e c e n t r a l i z e d Procurement Scheme in Chhattisgarh state for state’s requirement and central pool.
‘I have written letters to you dated 05/07/2019, 25/10/2019 and 30/10/2019, requesting hike in minimum support price (MSP) of paddy at Rs 2500 quintal and procurement of 32 lakh metric tons of rice from Chhattisgarh for central pool. This year also, the process of paddy procurement is about to begin, to financially empower the farmers of Chhattisgarh. But Government of India’s Food Ministry informed on 24/10/2019 that Government of India would not procure rice/paddy for central pool from the states that provide bonus on minimum support price fixed by Government of India.
‘I would like to draw your attention towards the fact that payment of proper value of their yield has resulted in prosperity and accelerated development in rural areas. Chhattisgarh remained untouched by the recession across the state in the fields of construction, automobiles etc. This also indicates that hike in minimum support price has positive effects on financial condition of farmers and also boosts overall economy, stated Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in his letter.’ Chief Minister mentioned about the several attempts made by him to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally but he has not been provided an appointment till date.
Chief Minister stated that following the suggestions received from PM office, ‘I met Honourable Union Agriculture Minister on 14/11/2019. Besides, I met Union Food Minister again on 14/11/2019 and made aforementioned request.’ But till date, Government of India has not reconsidered its decision regarding procurement. Bhupesh Baghel stated in the letter that Chhattisgarh is known as ‘rice bowl’. Government of India’s decision may have adverse effects on procurement along with other long-term negative impacts.
In the context, I had a detailed discussion with all the MPs, all the political parties and various farmers organizations on 05/11/2019. During the discussion, individuals, political parties and farmers organizations had unanimously supported procurement of paddy at Rs 2500 per quintal. It is sad that none of the representatives from Bharatiya Janata Party participated in this discussion. Chief Minister further said that in this situation, ‘I request you again to kindly issue necessary directive- instructions for procurement of paddy at Rs 2500 per quintal in Chhattisgarh and to accept 32 lakh metric tons of paddy from Chhattisgarh for central pool.
If under any circumstances, Government of India does not increase the support price, then conditions of para-1 of Procurement MoU should be slackened, as it was done in year 2017 and 2018, so that state government may provide proper value of farmers’ yield at its own expense. ‘I request you to kindly provide appointment for meeting as soon as possible to address this extremely important financial issue of national interest, said Bhupesh Baghel in the letter.