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Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel said in his address to the meeting of Chhattisgarh MPs held at Mantralaya Mahanadi Bhavan that Member of Parliaments from Chhattisgarh should rise above the party politics and come together for farmers' interest to raise the issue of Central Government's permission for paddy procurement from farmers at minimum support price of Rs 2500 per quintal and procurement of 32 lakh metric tons of rice from Chhattisgarh for central pool. The meeting was attended by State's Agriculture Minister Mr. Ravindra Choubey, Member of Lok Sabha Dr Jyotsana Mahant, Mr. Deepak Baij and Member of Rajya Sabha Mrs. Chhaya Verma, Chief Secretary Mr. RP Mandal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Gaurav Dwivedi , Principal Secretary Agriculture and Agricultural Production Commissioner Dr Maninder Kaur Dwivedi, Secretary of Food Department Dr Kamalpreet Singh.
Chief Minister said in the meeting that in this meeting related to farmers of Chhattisgarh all the MPs of the state have been invited. Some MPs could not attend the meeting because of previous engagements. Mr. Baghel said that in 2014 Central Government led by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi had said that the rice procurement will not be done from the State Governments that are providing bonus to farmers on paddy procurement at support price, for central pool. But despite that rice was being procured for central pool from farmers by slackening the aforementioned provision for last two years. In year 2019-20, we have requested Prime Minister to slacken the provision this year as well and procure 32 lakh metric tons of rice from Chhattisgarh, because this year inflow of paddy in large quantity is expected. We have written letters in the context to Prime Minister and Central Food Minister, but they have responded with disagreement letter, stating that procurement of paddy at Rs 2500 per quintal would disturb the market.
Chief Minister said in the meeting that procurement of paddy at Rs 2500 per quintal in Chhattisgarh has flourished the market. He requested all the MPs, farmers and businessmen to write letters to Prime Minister requesting slackening of the provision to procure 32 lakh metric tons of rice from Chhattisgarh for central pool.
Chief Minister said in the meeting that in larger interest of farmers, State Government would procure paddy at Rs 2500 per quintal from farmers this year as well. This year, nearly 85 lakh metric tons of paddy procurement is expected. Chief Minister said that we have kept the promise of procuring paddy at Rs 2500 per quintal in year 2018-19. This year also we would procure paddy at Rs 2500 per quintal.
Rise above Party Politics to Support Farmers' Interest : Mr. Baghel appealed in the all-party meet of MPs today
Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel appealed the MPs to rise above party politics to support interest of farmers of Chhattisgarh at the all-party meet held at Mantralaya today. Representatives of various political parties responded positively to the request of Chief Minister.
Chief Minister said in the meeting that if rice is not procured for central pool from Chhattisgarh, it would adversely affect farmers and economy of the state. He said that state government is providing Rs 2500 per quintal to farmers against paddy procurement from its own resources. Central Government has to only provide permission for the same. In the meeting, MLA of Chhattisgarh Janata Congress Mr. Dharamjeet Singh said that his party had praised state government's decision to procure paddy at Rs 2500 per quintal from farmers, as it brought relief to farmers and improved their financial status. He showed his support towards farmers' interest. Mr. Keshav Chandra of Bahujan Samaj Party said that he supports state government in bringing justice to the farmers. Mr. CR Bakshi of CPI and Mr. RDCP Rao of CPI (M) and Mr. Sonu Goswami of NCP also supported the stand of State Government on this topic.
Direct Dialoge with Farmers and Farmer Unions
Chief Minister Mr. Baghel had direct dialogue with farmer unions and farmers from various districts of the state regarding procurement of paddy at support price. Chief Minister gave them detailed information about government's decisions and steps for paddy procurement at support price.
Farmers welcomed the decisions of the government and said that this is first time ever that farmers have been called for meeting at Mantralaya. They thanked Chief Minister and told that paddy procurement at Rs 2500 per quintal has significantly improved their financial condition and has encouraged youngsters to take interest in farming. Chief Minister appealed farmer unions and farmers to request farmers, businessmen and various organizations related to agriculture to write letters to Prime Minister requesting procurement of rice from Chhattisgarh for central pool. Farmers and organizations welcomed this request of Chief Minister and agreed to support the cause.