Punjab farmers’ loss Rs.62,000 crore in 40 years: Report


Chandigarh : The non-linking of the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat and paddy with the wholesale price index (WPI) has led to a cumulative notional loss of nearly Rs.62,000 crore for farmers in Punjab over the past four decades, a report to the state government says.

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The report of the committee on MSP and price index, set up by the Punjab government, was submitted to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Tuesday.

“The report said the cumulative notional loss to the farmers of Punjab due to non-linking of MSP of wheat and paddy with the WPI is Rs.61,696 crore over the last four decades,” a spokesman for the chief minister said.

“Of this, the state suffered a loss of Rs.41,411 crore on account of wheat with an annual average loss of Rs.1,035 crore, and Rs.20,285 crore in the case of paddy with average loss of Rs.507 crore annually,” the spokesperson added.

The committee said the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices should take into consideration the WPI while recommending the MSP.

“The WPI, however, should not be taken as the only basis for determining the MSP. There was, however, a need to periodically review and revise the list of indicators for determining the MSP, so that the farmers get remunerative prices of their produce,” the report said.

The Punjab government has been demanding enhancement of wheat and paddy MSP, saying input costs have gone up considerably.

Punjab, the green revolution state of 1960s and ’70s, has been a major contributor in the central pool of food grains during the last four decades.

In 2006-07, its share of wheat in the central pool was 75 percent, while it contributed up to 40 percent of rice.