Sunday, December 5, 2010

Free movement of rice, A farmers’ victory

The Lok Satta Party today described the Andhra Pradesh Government decision to lift all restrictions on movement of fine rice and paddy as the first victory of the non-party movement it launched on behalf of farmers.

Addressing the media, Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma and Party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, P.Bhaskara Rao said that Government Order No. 58 facilitated free trade in fine rice and paddy throughout the country. The State Government should now persuade the Union Government to permit export of rice to other countries too.

With last year’s stocks occupying the entire space in Government and private warehouses and farmers registering record yields now, the open market price of paddy has crashed below the Government’s minimum support price. Now that rice millers can sell rice anywhere in the country by moving it by road, they should buy paddy by offering at least the minimum support price.

The Lok Satta leaders demanded that the State Government announce a bonus of Rs.200 a quintal of paddy above the minimum support price considering the escalation in cultivation costs. They also wanted the Union Government not to succumb to textile industry pressures for halting cotton exports.

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