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CM bats for guarantee of MSP on alternative crops

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Says it is the need of hour to safeguard interests of farmers by bringing them out of rut of wheat-paddy circle
Reiterates commitment to safeguard the interests of farmers
Asserts that doors of dialogue always open with farmers
Punjab Newsline, Chandigarh, February 19-
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh on Sunday batted for guarantee of Minimum support Price (MSP) on the alternative crops to safeguard the interests of the farmers.
Interacting with the media persons after the meeting attended by the Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai and representatives of various farmer unions, the Chief Minister said that he had raised the issue of import of pulses from Mozambique and Columbia. He said that this import is more than Rs 2 billion dollars adding that if MSP is given for this crop then Punjab can lead the country in production of pulses. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it will be a second green revolution in the country though Punjab had suffered due to green revolution by loss of its only natural resources in term of over exploitation of fertile soil and water.
The Chief Minister also said that farmers of the state can adopt cotton and maize only if they get the MsP of these crops. He said that the assured marketing of these crops can encourage the farmers for crop diversification. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that detailed discussions were held on this topic and guarantee was sought in this regard adding that agreement for purchase of these crops should be done.
The Chief Minister said that this will help in giving major push to the crop diversification in the country as it will be beneficial for the people. He said that country today imports pulses from the countries whereas if farmers get remunerative prices then they can produce these pulses here. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this will save the foreign reserves of the country besides bringing the farmers out of rut of paddy circle thereby saving the precious water in the state.
The Chief Minister said that he had participated in the meeting as an advocate of the farmers and the final decision has to be taken by the stakeholders. He said that peace, law and order must be maintained by all means during the protest and it is unfortunate that two farmers had already attained martyrdom. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that he is performing his duty to safeguard the interests of the farmers of the state and no stone will be left unturned for this noble cause.
The chief minister said that he is committed for safeguarding the life and property of the state. He said that doors are open for the deliberations between farmers of the state and the union government. Bhagwant Singh Mann expressed hope that the issue between the farmers and the Union government will be resolved soon.
The Chief Minister said that the Internet services in around five districts of the state have been suspended, which is adversely effecting the studies of the students. He said that these days exams are going on and online study is being done but the suspension of internet services is highly condemnable. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that he does not want any of the youth of the state to stand before water cannon or tear gas shells.
Profusely thanking the Union government and farmers for coming on table to discuss the issues, the Chief Minister said that this is the right platform for solving the issues. Bhagwant Singh Mann expressed hope that more such discussions will take place in coming times in the larger interests of the farmers and the people. He said that the state government is committed for maintaining peace, communal harmony and amity in the state for which all the stakeholders should support them.

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