The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, who visited some grain markets in Jagraon area in Ludhiana said that farmers had told him that officials were in no mood to be considerate. "Rather they have been complicating the problems and adding to the misery of farmers," he alleged.
    
Tewari, who is also the Ludhiana MP, said farmers from the state were selling the same paddy in Haryana 'mandis.’
    
"If they can sell their paddy in Haryana 'mandis' so conveniently, that means there is something wrong with the state machinery in Punjab," he said, questioning the blame levelled by the state at the Centre.
    
The state cannot escape responsibility for its failure by passing the blame to the Centre, he said.
    
Tewari said farmers were comparing the procurement during the last Congress regime in Punjab (2002-2007), when they never had to wait for more than 24 hours to sell their produce and get the payments, with the present SAD-BJP regime where they are not able to sell their produce on time and for an adequate price, leave alone getting their money on time.
    
The Minister also spoke to Food Corporation of India chairman C Vishwanath over telephone and urged him to take a sympathetic view and relax norms within permissible limits.
    
He told the FCI chairman that the farmers were already reeling under severe economic and financial pressures as input costs had increased manifold.

(Agencies)

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