Badal meets Modi; seeks Swaminathan formula MSP, schemes for Punjab

New Delhi/Chandigarh, Aug 31 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and immediately implement the Swaminathan formula for determining the minimum support price (MSP) of the crops.

While pointing out that agriculture was fast becoming a non-profitable venture for farmers, the ‘Green Revolution’ state’s chief minister, in the meeting in New Delhi, called for immediate central intervention to bail out the distressed peasantry from the current agrarian crisis.

“Badal pleaded for MSP to be fixed according to the guidelines stipulated by eminent agriculture economist M.S.Swaminathan, allowing farmers to get MSP which should cover production costs plus 50 per cent as profit. He also demanded that crop diversification program should be converted to agriculture diversification,” a chief minister’s office spokesman said in Chandigarh.

Seeking reimbursement of Rs.2,694 crore already paid out of special term loan of Rs.5,800 crore advanced to Punjab for combating militancy from 1980-1995, Badal requested Modi to immediately announce a special grant of the amount in lieu of its repayment.

Out of the special term loan, Rs.5,029 crore was waived by the central government earlier.

Badal also sought revival of industry in Punjab through central tax concessions like those given to hill states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir, noting such concessions to the hill states had led to flight of industry from Punjab.

He also sought clearances for various irrigation and water projects for Punjab.

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