Higher Price for Cotton Demanded

Anil DeshmukhFormer minister, Mr. Anil Deshmukh has demanded that the centre should pay a minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 6,500 per quintal to cotton. The present MSP is Rs 4,050 and as government is yet to start buying, the traders are offering a rate of Rs 3,800 per quintal. Mr. Deshmukh told newsmen that Democratic Front (DF) had sent the proposal to centre before elections but it is yet to be acted upon.

“Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi had assured to provide MSP to cotton on the basis of formula suggested by Swaminathan committee. However, the MSP has been increased only by 2 per cent whereas inflation has gone up by 17 per cent,” he said.

There was a glut of cotton in international market as well as the country and unless government bailed out the cultivators, they would be exploited by the traders, he said.

The government, Mr. Deshmukhsaid said, needs to take several steps to give justice to farmers. “Nafed said it does not have money to buy cotton and so the first thing is to make funds available to it. Secondly, agreement between Nafed and Maharashtra Cotton Federation is yet to be signed. Nafed has said that it will purchase only 25 per cent of the cotton produced. This means that traders will purchase the remaining 75 per cent and, in an oversupply scenario, they will buy it at throwaway prices,” he said.

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