Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal slammed the Central Government for announcing a meager hike of Rs 80 per quintal in the minimum support price of paddy while Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has welcomed the move.

Badal said, “The hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by Rs 80/quintal and Rs 300/quintal in cotton is not apt for the farmers of the state. The rise is very less in comparison with the boom in the prices of diesel, fertilizers and pesticides.”

“Had Centre shown scant concern for farmers they would have at least consulted the agrarian states like Punjab and others before finalising the MSP,” added Badal.

Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “The farmers in the state are caught in debt- trap due to the anti-farmer policies of the Central government.”

“We will meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demand MSP of paddy to be fixed at Rs 1500/quintal,” he added.

“It is sad that the UPA government did not pay heed to the recommendations of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

The committee recommended a raise of Rs 160/quintal in the MSP of paddy.  The government has acknowledged that the cost of agricultural inputs has gone up by 64 percent and despite this it announced such an unrealistic hike,” said Sukhbir.