NewZNew (Talwandi Sabo/Bathinda) : Terming the prevalent system for price fixation of crops as ‘redundant’, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today demanded that the Union government must set up a high powered committee for fixing the prices of crops besides evolving ways and means to make agriculture a remunerative preposition.
Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of political conference to mark the Baisakhi festival here today, the Chief Minister, accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union Food Processing Minister Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, said that the existing mechanism wherein the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) of the Government Of India (GoI) fixes the price of crops every year was obsolete and the need of the hour was to do away with it by forming a high powered committee comprising of agri-experts, officers and other imminent people to bail out the farmer from current agrarian crisis. He said that besides fixation of the prices of the crops this committee must also be entrusted the task of rejuvenating agriculture through extensive research and design activities. Mr. Badal said that he would soon formally take up this issue with the Union government so that the hard working and resilient farmers of the country could be saved.
Batting for implementation of Dr. Swaminathan formula for fixing the prices of the crops, the Chief Minister said that it was the need of the hour to implement the formula given by the world renowned agri-scientist, which stipulates cost plus 50% profit to benefit the farmers. He expressed hope that since this was an important part of the manifesto of BJP in general polls so the NDA government would implement it soon. “The farmers cannot be saved by giving nominal MSPs to them as recommended by the arm chair agri-experts, while sitting in their cozy offices in New Delhi, but the MSP must be fixed as per Dr M Swaminathan formula if the country’s food security is to be preserved” added Mr. Badal.
Batting for MSP mechanism for the procurement of crops, the Chief Minister said that any move of parting away from it could prove detrimental for the country. He said that agriculture was the backbone of the nation’s economy and any move to abolish the MSP system could break this vital component of Indian economy.
Earlier addressing the massive gathering, the Chief Minister exhorted the people to make a solemn pledge on this sacred occasion to weed out the social maladies from the state. He said that it was the high time that all the Punjabis must resolve to overcome their weaknesses and become an integral part of the ongoing development and prosperity of the state. Mr. Badal said that this humble contribution on the part of every Punjabi could play a key role in making our state a front leading one in the state.
Listing the number of pro-poor schemes initiated by the state government, the Chief Minister said that people had been immensely benefitted through the Atta-Dal, Shagun, Pensions and other welfare schemes. He said that their government has already taken a slew of measures to put the state on high growth trajectory and due to strenuous efforts of the SAD-BJP alliance government Punjab was charting new success story every day. Mr. Badal said that apart from developing core sectors of health and education, the state government has also made concerted efforts for making state a power surplus nation, which was a reality now.
Terming that in a short span of its rule the NDA government led by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has given several key projects to the state, the Chief Minister said that in the near future many such more projects were in offering. He said that Sri Amritsar Sahib the holy city of the state has been chosen as heritage city under the HRIDAY scheme, which would ensure flow of central assistance worth hundred crores of Rupees for its development. Likewise, Mr. Badal said that Jallianwala Bagh has been included amongst Cultural World Heritage Site to receive special assistance for improving the infrastructure.
The Chief Minister also hailed the NDA government for allocating prestigious projects like All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Post Graduate Horticulture Research and Educational Institute. He further said that this was for the first time ever since independence that a Union government has given such key projects to the state. Likewise, Mr. Badal said that by setting up a SIT to probe into anti-Sikh carnage of 1984 and announcing compensation for its victim the NDA has recognized the contribution of Punjabis. “This demonstrates a special concern of the NDA government for the patriotic people of Punjab, which must be appreciated by one and all” added Mr. Badal.
Slamming the Congress party for its anti-Punjab stance, the Chief Minister said that the Congress was inimical to the state from day one as it denied Punjab of its legitimate territorial rights in terms of its Capital, share in river water besides attacking on Sri Durbar Sahib thereby hurting the religious sentiments of the Punjabis in general and Sikh community in particular. Likewise, he said that the Sikhs could never forgive the Congress for the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 in which thousands of innocent Sikhs were brutally killed.
Reiterating that some forces inimical to the progress and prosperity of the state were trying to disturb the hard earned peace of Punjab, the Chief Minister said that the SAD-BJP alliance government was fully determined to crush the ugly head of such forces. He said that the state government has always accorded top priority to maintain peace, communal harmony and brotherhood in the state. Mr. Badal said that along with ushering in an era of unprecedented development in Punjab, our government has been successful in creating a congenial atmosphere in the state despite of a hostile international border.
In his address, the Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal assailed the Congress Vice President Mr. Rahul Gandhi for unleashing a malicious campaign to defame the hard working and resilient Punjabis. He said that Mr. Gandhi and Congress party had hatched a conspiracy to tarnish the image of Punjabis by labeling them as drug addicts whereas it was a fact that Punjab was fighting nation’s war against drug. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal said that Punjab has checked the drug flowing from across the border thereby saving millions of youth from the scourge of drugs.
Recalling the glorious track record of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in serving the countrymen, the Deputy Chief Minister said that SAD was the second oldest party of the country, which has always struggled for the cause of the country and its people. He said that some parties mislead the people by populist slogans but in reality they turn to be ‘water bubble’ which bursts with the passage of time. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal said that AAP was one such party, which has failed to deliver anything to the people. He said that announcements regarding free water to people, end of VVIP culture and others made by AAP have failed to turn into reality.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that in the coming one and half year, Punjab would witness unprecedented growth and development. However, he urged the people to not get swayed away by the misleading campaign by some people and join hands with the SAD for ensuring progress of the state and prosperity of its people. “On the one hand neither Bajwa nor Amarinder and not even AAP were concerned for Punjab and on the other hand the Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal has dedicated his entire life for welfare of Punjab and Punajbis” added Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Earlier, in her address the Union Food Processing Minister Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal called upon the people to follow the footsteps of the great Sikh Gurus to serve the humanity with utmost zeal and dedication. She urged the people to save the girl child by shunning the practice of female foeticide. Mrs. Badal also exhorted the people to make whole hearted efforts for checking crime against women in the society.
The Union Minister said that it was the moral duty of every individual present in this conference to pledge and follow the tenets of Sikhism. She said that Sikh history was full of countless sacrifices made by the Sikh gurus and their followers for the sake of protection of weaker sections of the society, which must be emulated by one and all.
Prominent amongst other present on the occasion included Rajya Sabha MP Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Cabinet Ministers Mr. Sikander Singh Maluka and Mr. Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Advisor to Chief Minister on National Affairs and Media Mr. Harcharan Bains, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Sarup Chand Singla, MLAs Mr. Darshan Singh Kotfatta and Mr. Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu.