Chandigarh: In a relief for ‘moong’ growers, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday announced that his government would pay up to Rs 1,000 per quintal for compensating farmers who are selling their crop below the MSP in the market.
The announcement came after some reports suggested that the ‘moong’ (green gram) was being sold at a rate less than the minimum support price of Rs 7,275 per quintal.
Mann said he has given directions in this regard to the finance department.
“In the last few days, questions have been raised on the quality of moong crop,” said Mann in a video message.
Mann said if a farmer sold crop at Rs 7,000 per quintal, then the state government will pay Rs 275 to him and the crop was sold at Rs 6,500 per quintal, the government will pay the difference of Rs 775.
If a farmer sold the crop at Rs 6,000 per quintal, then he will be given Rs 1,000 a quintal, said Mann.
The minister further said he has already approved relaxation in existing specifications for the purchase of damaged ‘moong’ crop.
Announcing relaxation in specification for buying crop, Mann said the maximum limit of unripe, shriveled or immature crop has been enhanced from 3 per cent to 8 per cent, 3 per cent to 6 per cent for damaged crop and 4 per cent to 7 per cent for slightly damaged crop.
Mann said as he had requested farmers to grow ‘moong’ crop, it was his duty that farmers should not suffer losses.
Mann, later in a statement, said there was a total arrival of 2.98 lakh quintals of moong crop in 2021-22 and this year the crop’s arrival is expected to be 4 lakh quintals.
The chief minister said ‘moong’ was sown over 1.25 lakh acres of land this year.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal asked the AAP government to procure the entire ‘moong’ crop arriving in the state ‘mandis’ at the MSP as well as compensate farmers for the loss suffered in selling short to private players by July 10.
In a statement, Badal said, We want a clear cut directive to the state agencies to purchase all ‘moong’ arriving in state mandis as per the MSP. We also want the government to compensate farmers for the losses suffered by them in selling their produce to private players. This can be done through the ‘Bhavantar’ Scheme which is being implemented by Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.”
In case the government does not do this, the SAD would launch an agitation to secure justice for the farmers of the state, said Badal.
Badal accused the chief minister of betraying the farming community by reneging on his promise to purchase the entire ‘moong’ crop at the MSP.
“The state government has purchased less than 10 per cent of the entire crop which has arrived in the mandis even as moong continues to arrive in mandis in the Malwa region, said the SAD chief.