Chandigarh– In a bid to alleviate the woes of distressed farmers in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought a hike from the Centre in the minimum support price (MSP) of various crops for the 2019-20 Rabi season.

On the directive of the Chief Minister, the state Agriculture Department has come out with a detailed proposal for hiking the MSP of wheat from Rs 1,840 per quintal in 2018-19 to Rs 2,710 in 2019-20, and of barley from Rs 1,440 per quintal to Rs 1,974.

The proposal, submitted to the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), also seeks a hike in the MSP of gram from the earlier Rs 4,620 per quintal to Rs 5,631, and of rapeseed and mustard from Rs 4,200 to Rs 5,384 per quintal, an official statement said.

According to the statement, the Chief Minister said the hike was important for promoting crops like barley, gram, rapeseed and mustard in the state and to give a much needed push for crop diversification that would help arrest the deleting groundwater table in Punjab.

Amarinder Singh also said that while the state government had taken all possible steps to ease the problems of farmers, including farm debt waivers, the Centre’s intervention was needed to support these measures, especially in the matter of MSP which is under its control.

The Chief Minister reiterated his demand for an in-toto implementation of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission report to ensure the much-needed improvement in the agriculture system and better remuneration for the farmers, the statement added. (IANS)