Chandigarh, Shiromani Akali Dal President and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today slammed the UPA government for not raising the Minimum Support Price of wheat.
He termed the Centre`s approval of MSP for rabi crops and not of wheat as "illogical, anti-farmer and unjustified" and said it would further accentuate the woes of the beleaguered farmers.
Badal asked the Centre to immediately announce fixing of MSP of wheat at Rs 1800 per quintal to offset the recent massive increase in the farm inputs. He said the non-remunerative MSP and "anti-farmer" policies of the Centre were primarily responsible for the slowdown of agricultural growth.
Badal said that it was a high time for the Centre to fix the MSP by providing a margin of 50 per cent over the cost of production to farmers as suggested by renowned agricultural economist M S Swaminathan.
He also sought explanation from Centre as to why wheat was being imported at far higher prices than what was paid to farmers in India.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last night approved up to 20 per cent hike in MSP for five rabi crops for 2013-14, but deferred a decision on wheat MSP in the wake of inter-ministerial differences.