‘Procurement of crops to continue at the minimum support price’

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said farmers are getting 1.5 times of the minimum support price (MSP) on procurement of foodgrains.

In her Budget speech, the Finance Minister said procurement of crops will continue at the minimum support price.

Presenting statistics on procurement of wheat and rice on MSP, she said that this year Rs 1,72,000 crore will be spent on procurement of rice and more than Rs 62,000 crore have already been spent on procurement of wheat.

One of the two main demands of the farmers protesting at Delhi’s borders for more than two months has been a legal guarantee on MSP by the government.

While the government has reiterated that the present system of procurement of crops at MSP will continue.

Punjab MPs wear black gowns on Budget day

Punjab Congress MPs Jasbir Singh Gill and Gurjit Singh Aujla wore black gowns to protest against the contentious farm laws on Budget day and held up posters proclaiming ‘I am also farmer’ as the farmers’ protests at the Delhi borders continued into February without any breakthrough.

The Congress has upped the ante on the issue of the farm laws with former party chief Rahul Gandhi demanding early solutions and warning that the protests may spread further. The Congress is demanding the repeal of the farm laws.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the all-party meeting on Saturday, had reiterated that the government’s proposal of suspending the laws still stands.

The Prime Minister assured that the government is approaching the farmers’ issue with an open mind.

Modi stressed that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said that he is just a phone call away for talks.

Modi referred to the violence in Delhi on January 26 and said that the law will take its own course.

In his first ‘Mann Ki Baat’ monthly radio programme of this year, the Prime Minister said the violence occurred days after when the country celebrated Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Bihu festivals as well as the Indian cricket team’s victory against Australia and the celebration of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary as ‘Parakram Divas’.

Chaos reigned in Delhi on the 72nd Republic Day as the tractor rally by the protesting farmers went off the designated route and rolled into the iconic Mughal-era Red Fort in the old city. A protester died on the way and over 300 security forces were injured in the violence. The farmers entered the forecourt of the Red Fort, climbed its ramparts, and hoisted a religious flag on a mast where the Prime Minister unfurls the tricolour every year on Independence Day.

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