Chandigarh: In a significant development, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has asked top officials to ensure that cotton growers get remunerative prices as promised by his government. Captain himself is reviewing the ongoing procurement of cotton crop and has reiterated his government’s commitment that entire crop would be purchased at minimum support price (MSP) to the satisfaction of the cotton growers in the state.
The Chief Minister himself on Monday took stock of the entire procurement scenario while interacting with the senior officials of the state government besides officials of Agriculture Department and Mandi Board. It was apprised by the Secretary Mandi Board in the meeting that so far approximately 3.19 lakh quintals of cotton had arrived in the various cotton markets of the state and the minimum support price (MSP) of cotton was Rs 4,220 per quintal. The officials informed the Chief Minister that the procurement was being carried out smoothly and there were very few instances involving quality issues.
The officers present in the meeting informed the Chief Minister that the cotton was being purchased above MSP barring a very little quantity of cotton that had quality issues. A heavy rush of cotton crop has been witnessed and the arrival is almost double of last year and the production is also substantially higher. The Secretary Mandi Board briefed the Chief Minister that the cotton crop was procured across the state between Rs 4,350 and Rs 4,220 per quintal.
The Chief Minister has also directed all the Deputy Commissioners of cotton producing districts to ensure that the farmer get remunerative price of their produce. Captain Amarinder Singh asked the Deputy Commissioners to personally visit the cotton markets so as to ensure that farmers were getting fair prices. He also directed senior officers of the state government to keep a close tab on the ongoing procurement of the cotton crop. The CM asked the Punjab Mandi Board officials to ensure the the price of cotton as per its quality and gradation of cotton crop.
To further boost the tempo of procurement of cotton across the state, the Chief Minister directed that a special joint meeting be convened tomorrow at Chandigarh,in which senior officers besides officials of Cotton Corporation India (CCI), State Agriculture Department and Punjab Mandi Board should participate to thrash out all issues related to seamless purchase of cotton.