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Sukhbir seeks compensation after wheat export ban

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Chandigarh, May 15 (Ajit Weekly News) Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday came down heavily against the Centre’s decision to ban the export of wheat and demanded compensation of Rs 500 per quintal of wheat for the farmers.

He sought relief for the double whammy of “weather-driven calamity of drastic lower yield on the one hand and the shrunken market following export ban on the other”.

Badal demanded the export ban be lifted immediately to stop an artificially created fall in demand for farmers’ produce. “A fall in demand will have a negative spiral impact on the entire economy. The farmers and farm labourers will be the worst sufferers with no economic segment will escape its negative short-term and long-term consequences.”

He said the withdrawal of export ban has become all the more necessary now that the farmers, especially in Punjab, have suffered a huge and unbearable blow with an estimated 33 per cent lower wheat yield because of unexpected weather fluctuations.

The SAD chief said the government must apply uniform standards and adopt identical policies with regard to fall in productivity and production in industry and agriculture.

Giving the example of fall in steel production, Badal said as a result of fall in production, steel prices have skyrocketed but there is no export ban on steel.

The former Deputy Chief Minister also commented on the government’s decision to raise the relaxation for shrunken grain, saying it was an inadequate and insignificant measure.

“Against a 33 per cent fall in the total production, the increased relaxation by just 12 per cent in the shrunken wheat is mere eyewash. The relaxation covers only the shrunken grain whereas the fall in yield affects the entire production. This is a clever ploy to distract attention from the actual losses suffered by the farmers,” added Badal, who himself is one of the prominent agriculturalists in the country.

–Ajit Weekly News

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