Chandigarh, December 19
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal urged Union Government to continue the procurement of wheat and paddy at Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the State of Punjab, besides ensuring procurement of maize and alternate crops to promote crop diversification and to address the problem of depleting ground water table.
During the Pre-Budget meeting of Finance Ministers of all Sates and Union Territories with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at New Delhi, Badal also raised the issue of Crop Residue Management, suggesting that Government of India should make provision in the Provisional Cost Sheet for Crop Residue Management @Rs.100 per quintal over and above the MSP.
He further pointed out that Govt. of India has been providing financial assistance to the States for creating infrastructure in Roads/ Power/ Irrigation, etc. However, States like Punjab has already created such infrastructure, without the aid of Union Government, by incurring expenditure from its own resources or through debt, are being penalized in the present set of schemes. “The State has not only been losing to non-receipt of grants for creation of infrastructure from the Centre since infrastructure already exists but is incurring debt repayments for creating the infrastructure from its own resources”, said the Minister, adding that to incentivize States like Punjab through special assistance for rejuvenating the existing infrastructure.