Bathinda, October 19
In a bid to get better prices for the produce, farmers from Punjab, especially from Bathinda, Mansa and Sangrur, have started carrying paddy to mandis in Haryana now. The development has upset arhtiyas, labourers and rice millers since it’s causing them “substantial” losses.
'Growers free to sell crop anywhere'
There is a revenue loss to the state, but as per the law farmers cannot be restricted. They are free to sell their produce anywhere in the country if the state government allows. -- Rajnish Goel, district mandi officer, Bathinda
Moreover, the state government is losing out on revenue collected in the form of market fee paid by farmers during the paddy procurement.
The minimum support price (MSP) for paddy this year is Rs 2,060 per quintal. While the basmati-1509 variety has been fetching Rs 2,500-3,000 per quintal in the local market, farmers are selling it to private players for Rs 3,600 per quintal. Similarly, a new premium variety and basmati-1121 variety are being sold for Rs 3,800-4,000 per quintal in Punjab. However, these varieties are fetching Rs 4,500 per quintal at mandis of Fatehabaad, Ratia, Tohana and Panchkula in Haryana.
One variety of parmal is even fetching Rs 4,500-4,700 per quintal in Haryana.
Sources said other paddy varieties were being procured by government agencies in Punjab, but basmati and parmal varieties were fetching higher price in Haryana.
The sources said apart from the better price for their produce, farmers also had the liberty to sell paddy even with high moisture ccntent in Haryana. Unlike the mandis of Punjab where paddy is procured within the permissible moisture content limit of 17 per cent, farmers are easily selling their produce with over 20 to 22 per cent moisture in markets of Haryana.
From some areas of Mansa district, almost 70 per cent of paddy has made its way to Haryana till now.
Munish Babbi Danewalia, president of Arhtiya Association of Mansa, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
Danewalia said, “Unlike Punjab, there is no purchase limit on rice millers in Haryana so farmers find it convenient to sell their produce and get payment in a hassle-free manner there. Moreover, private purchasers in Haryana are also buying paddy which is slightly above the government-fixed moisture content limit.”
Makhan Goyal, president of Rice Millers’ Association, said, “Both parmal and basmati varieties from Punjab are being sold in Haryana and if it continues, then almost 15 per cent of the produce will move out of the state, causing substantial revenue loss to the government.”
Members of the District Rice Millers’ Association and District Arhtiya Association Mansa have written to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann regarding the issue and demanded his immediate intervention to resolve it.
AAP legislators Budh Ram and Gurpreet Singh Banawali exhorted farmers not to sell their produce in Haryana as it was causing a financial loss to the state. They ensured the traders that they would take up the issue with CM and try to resolve it.
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