Punjab to provide better prices for basmati, setup marketing mechanism

Chandigarh/May 16
Punjab government will setup marketing mechanism and provide better remunerative prices for basmati growers of the state with a view to promote crop diversification program.
Punjab’s Chief Minster Parkash Singh Badal announced the decision for marketing mechanism and better remunerative prices for basmati growers on Wednesday. Badal also urged the Rice Millers and Exporters association to play a proactive role for motivating the farmers for Basmati Cultivation to enhance their income and achieving the target of bringing 10 lakh hectare area in the state under Basmati cultivation in next three years.
“Basmati and its different varieties will be exempted from Rural Development Fund RDF(2%), Punjab Infrastructure Development Fund PIDF (3%) and Market fee (2%) under the new diversification policy,” Badal said, adding that this step will boost the Basmati cultivation as the state government had decided to extend a benefit of Rs 200 crore to the for Basmati growers.
Badal also constituted a panel that will headed by the Chairman Punjab Farmers Commission including the representatives of the Basmati growers, Rice millers and Exporters, to fix an Assured Price of Basmati every year well before its plantation.
“The main objective of providing these exemptions by the state government to the Rice millers and Exporters under diversification plan was to make Basmati milling competitive so that farmers’ Basmati produce was lifted by them at remunerative prices, as a result the state was able to increase area under Basmati cultivation conserve the depleting underground water resource besides motivating the farmers to shift from paddy cultivation to Basmati, which was a far less water intensive crop then paddy,” Badal said.
Further, the exemptions will be given only to those transactions which took place on the assured price. Badal asked the millers that in order to avail all the benefits they must ensure timely payments to the farmers for their produce.