CM urges reversal of Basmati export restrictions by Union Government

The Chief Minister urges the Union government to reverse the restrictions on basmati exports.

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The Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann cited the restriction on basmati exports them as arbitrary, detrimental to farmers, and disheartening.

He strongly criticizes the Union government for obstructing the Rural Development Fund and highlights the encouraging presence of a substantial youth population at the Kisan Mela as a positive development.

The Chief Minister further lamented that the restrictions on export of basmati imposed by the Union government are against the interests of the farmers, and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Friday demanded the immediate rollback of this arbitrary decision.

Addressing the gathering during the Kisan Mela organized here at the Punjab Agriculture University, the Chief Minister bemoaned that this illogical decision will do considerable damage to the economic situation of the farmers as well as the traders.

He said that the Union government has fixed the minimum export price of the basmati at $1200 per ton, which adversely affects the domestic price of the crop. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the union government must remove all these restrictions to safeguard the interests of the farmers in the state.

The Punjab Chief Minister said that the hardworking and resilient farmers of the state are already at a crossroads due to the ever-escalating cost of farm inputs and low MSP. He said that the state produces the most basmati in the country, and this decision of the Center will adversely affect the interests of the peasants of the state.

Bhagwant Singh Mann said that on the one hand, the state government is making concerted efforts for crop diversification by encouraging the farmers to produce moong, basmati, and other alternative crops, but on the other hand, these dastardly steps of the Union government are giving it major setbacks.

The Punjab CM said that this decision of the Union government is anti-farmer and anti-state, adding that the state government will vehemently oppose this move. He said that in the wake of these restrictions, the state government is contemplating selling the basmati crop to states like Kerala, West Bengal, and others.

Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the farmers of the state had played a vanguard role in making the country self-reliant in food production, but such draconian moves by the Union government were against their interests.

The Chief Minister slammed the Union government for stalling the Rural Development Fund (RDF) to target its opponents. He said that despite the fact that the state government has removed all the ambiguities created by the previous governments, the center has not released the funds yet.

CM Mann said that he had himself called on the Union Rural Development Minister, who had assured him that these funds would be released soon, but it never happened, and the Union government has stalled the RDF of the state worth more than Rs 3622 crore.

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The Chief Minister said that in order to cope with the problem of paddy straw burning, the state government had mooted the idea of compensating the farmers by giving them Rs 2500 per acre. He said that out of these Rs 2500, Rs 1500 was to be given by the central government and Rs 1000 was to be shared by the state government.

However, Bhagwant Mann said that instead of agreeing to this demand, the Union government rejected it without any logic.

Reiterating the firm commitment of his government to ensure canal water at the tail end of the last field in the state, the Chief Minister said that the state government is duty-bound for this noble cause. He said that already, due to the strenuous efforts of the state government, water has reached the far-flung areas of Fazilka districts.

CM Bhagwant Mann said that the state government is taking massive steps for the optimum utilization of the canal water to save the groundwater, but at present Punjab is using only 33%–34% of its canal water, adding that this will be enhanced in the coming days.

Chief Minister Mann said that corruption is the root cause of every social malady, due to which the state government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards it.

Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government is committed to providing a transparent, effective, and responsive administration to the people, for which no stone is being left unturned. He said that massive efforts have been made to eradicate corruption in the state, especially in the Revenue Department.

CM Mann said that it is overwhelming to note that a large number of youth are showing their keen interest in the Kisan Melas. He said that it is on record that 1.09 lakh farmers participated in the Kisan Mela on the first day. He extended that the introduction of technology in agriculture will help transform the destiny of farmers and agriculture.

The Chief Minister also lauded the role of Punjab Agriculture University in heralding an era of green revolution in the country. He said that this premier institute is a lighthouse of new and extensive research in the field of agriculture, which is immensely beneficial for farmers.

The Chief Minister, Bhagwant Singh Mann, said that every Punjabi is proud of the immense contribution of this university in the agriculture and allied sectors.