In a letter to the Prime Minister, Badal apprised him that Punjab had been contributing about 30-35 per cent of wheat procured for the central pool for buffer stock operations.

However, the MSP for wheat has been fixed as Rs 1,450 per quintal for the marketing session 2015-16 whereas the farmers were paid Rs 1,400 per quintal during last year, he said, as per an official release here.

"Practically, this marginal increase in MSP does not even cover the increase in the cost of inputs fertilizers, diesel, labour during the last one year," he said.

Based on the use of inputs, the state government had suggested a minimum price of Rs 1,900 per quintal for wheat, he said.

The chief minister further brought to the notice of prime minister that the untimely rain and hailstorm in the state during February and March have caused heavy damage to the Rabi crops in about 3.48 lakh hectares in the state.

Towards the end of February and in March, Rabi crops are at the maturing and flowering stage and these need less irrigation, he said, adding, wheat is the major Rabi crop in the state and occupies an area of about 35 lakh hectares.

Badal further pointed out that heavy rain and hailstorm during this period have resulted in lodging of the wheat crop.

The farmers had to incur extra expenditure to drain out the excessive water accumulated in their fields to save their crop, he said.

Moreover, the hailstorms accompanied by high velocity winds have resulted in flattening of the crop which will lead to reduction in yield as well as more harvesting cost, he said.

The high input cost, extra expenditure on draining out excessive water from the fields and loss of the maturing crop has put hardworking farmers of the state under tremendous stress, he said.

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