After opposition threatens to hold agitation, the state government takes a decision to procure tur dal from farmers and offer minimum support price to them.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray had earlier threatened to launch an agitation across the state if the government fails to procure tur dal by offering minimum support price to farmers. He said, “The state government must take initiative to purchase tur dal from farmers within 24 hours failing which MNS will hold a dharna across the state. The BJP government had started the tur dal procurement centres across the state however they had cited several reasons like non-availability of space in godowns and lack of weighing scales. They had also shut several procurement centres across the state. Thus the government is trying to mislead the farmers who are facing hardships due to bumper crop harvest.”
Even NCP president Sharad Pawar had demanded that the government must immediately procure tur dal from farmers. He said, “The government must bail out farmers in this hour of crisis. Since tur dal is not a perishable commodity it can be purchased even at a later date. If farmers don’t receive minimum support price for tur dal then they might not produce this commodity in future as it may lead to shortage of production and rising prices.”
Leader of opposition in the legislative assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said, “The government has let down farmers as it has failed to procure tur dal from them. Thus the government is following anti-farmer policies and trying to help traders who raise the price as customers will have to bear the burden of price hike.”
On the other hand, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government is taking steps to assist farmers. He said, “The government has taken a decision to purchase tur dal of those farmers who have been registered at tur dal procurement centre at Rs 5050 per quintal. The farmers were fetching a price of Rs 3,000 to 4,000 per quintal of tur dal but state government is offering them a better price. The government also has made an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for procuring tur dal. We will also conduct a satellite mapping of those farmers who have brought lumpsum quantities of tur dal to ascertain whether the stock actually belongs to them.”
The state government began to procure the pulse on behalf of the Centre under the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed). Since January the original 90 day deadline ended on March 15 and then a one-month extension up to April 15 was given and the final one week extension ended on April 22.