Saturday, November 6, 2010

Announce bonus for paddy, Dr. JP requests CM

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today urged Chief Minister K. Rosaiah to announce a bonus of Rs.200 a quintal for paddy over and above the minimum support price.

In a media statement, Dr. JP said that the Karnataka Government had offered a bonus of Rs.100 a quintal within 24 hours of Karnataka paddy growers drawing the Government’s attention to their plight by organizing a largely attended conference at Sindanur in Raichur district of Karnataka on November 3.

Dr. JP pointed out the Andhra Pradesh Government burdens farmers with a five percent rural development cess, four percent VAT (sales tax), and one percent market cess.

In contrast, the Karnataka Government collects a mere 1.5 percent as market cess, and does not collect either rural development cess or VAT. It does not restrict free movement of rice outside the State.

Dr. JP wanted the Andhra Pradesh Government to remove VAT and permit free movement of rice outside the State. It should persuade the Government of India to permit export of non-Basmati rice considering that the country is about to reap a bumper harvest even as Government and private warehouses are overflowing with food grains. Since rice prices in international markets are reigning high, exports will earn the country foreign exchange and facilitate payment of remunerative prices to paddy growers.

He said that in areas where the paddy has just come into the market, the ruling prices are less than the minimum support price and added that further dithering on rice exports will depress prices further and harm producers.

For the last two weeks, Dr. JP has been on a mission to mobilize farmers on their demands. He has already visited some Coastal Andhra districts and Nalgonda in Telangana. Beginning today with Khammam, he will be visiting Medak, Nizamabad, Kurnool, Kadapa and Nellore districts to interact with farmers in the next few days.

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