Former Haryana minister Randeep Singh Surjewala on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments at the Centre and in Haryana of betraying the farming community by planning curtailment of wheat and paddy procurement from Haryana and Punjab.
Addressing a press conference Thursday, Surjewala alleged the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) in its report on Rabi Marketing Season 2020-21 has recommended curtailment of procurement of wheat and paddy. “In the report released in October, it has been recorded that the government procured a large share of wheat production and market arrivals, about 73% of production in Punjab and 80% in Haryana in Rabi marketing season 2019-20 (April-March). The commission recommends that the open-ended procurement policy needs to be reviewed,” he said. The malicious motive to curtail wheat and paddy procurement from Haryana and Punjab is thus, writ large, he alleged.
The AICC chief spokesperson said that on October 18, an email by joint secretary, food procurement, Government of India, has exposed the fact that Prime Minister’s office wrote to Food Corporation of India (FCI) and food & public distribution ministry to curtail the procurement of food grains as also to reduce the subsidy on food grains.
Surjewala further said that Food Corporation of India (FCI) is under a heavy debt. “Neither is the Government of India making payment of its subsidy money to the FCI nor does the FCI have any means to repay the loan or even service the debt. My concern is if the FCI shuts down, who will conduct procurement of food grains from farmers,’’ the Congress leader said. He demanded course correction of the CACP report as also the financial stability of FCI.