SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday urged the Center to review the ban on the export of broken rice and also remove the duties imposed on the export of non-basmati rice, saying the move will deprive farmers to reap the benefits of high world food grain prices. .
In a statement here, Badal said the export ban along with the 20% tariff on the export of non-basmati rice were “anti-farmer” measures and needed to be addressed immediately. The Center recently imposed a 20% export duty on non-basmati rice and also banned the export of broken rice in a bid to increase domestic supply.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief said previous farmers had been denied the benefits of higher wheat prices around the world as the central government banned the export of wheat in May.
âThe farmers then desperately needed higher prices to compensate for the loss of yield due to the high presence of shriveled cereals due to the early onset of the heat wave. Now, when farmers have a chance to reap the benefits of high international rice prices, the government has banned the export of broken rice and imposed exorbitant duties.
Also this time, farmers are facing decrease in paddy yield due to high prevalence of southern black streak dwarf virus,â Badal said. Stating that the Center should not penalize farmers, Badal said that instead of imposing export restrictions, the government should increase the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, which would lead to increased government purchases and meet the country’s food security needs.
He also said that contrary to projections, rice prices only accounted for 2 percent of the rise in the consumer price index last month and its prices are not expected to be forcibly lowered. Badal also said that a deliberate attempt to reduce paddy prices in the country’s open market also goes against the Centre’s resolution to double farm incomes by next year.
Noting that a drop in the demand for rice would have a negative impact on the whole economy, Badal said that farmers and farm workers would be the most affected, even if the whole economy would suffer the effect of negative growth in the agricultural sector.
MP for Firozpur said that in the case of Punjab, the agricultural sector was already in crisis with farmers suffering losses due to low paddy yield even as rains damaged both paddy and cotton crops in the region. region.
âThe dwarf virus in paddy is also expected to reduce its yield by 15-20%,â he said. In such a situation, farmers should be compensated and allowed to enjoy favorable prices, Badal said.
(With PTI inputs)