Rs 7,000 per quintal is fair for quality chilli, says Telangana government

Irrigation minister T. Harish Rao said the Centre has failed to understand the gravity of the situation.

Hyderabad: The TRS government on Thursday slammed the Centre for fixing the price of good quality chilli at a meagre Rs 5,000 per quintal and deciding to purchase only 33,700 metric tonnes under its Market Intervention Scheme.

Irrigation minister T. Harish Rao said the Centre has failed to understand the gravity of the situation and the ground reality with regard to the chilli issue.

He demanded that the Cen-tre fix the MSP at Rs 7,000 per quintal for good chilli and purchase the entire quantity of 7 lakh metric tonnes produced in the state state through the Food Corpor-ation of India, Markfed etc.

Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, on the request of M. Venkaiah Naidu, agreed to purchase 88,300 MT of chilli in AP and 33,700 MT in TS at Rs 5,000 per quintal.

Mr Rao called this a “millennium joke”. He said farmers were already getting Rs 5,500 to Rs 6,000 for Teja variety of chilli and other quality varieties. He alleged that the Centre was in fact indirectly reducing the price.

“The total chilli production in TS is 7 lakh MT. The Centre’s decision to buy just 33,700 MT is ridiculous. It is nothing but ‘Shatagopam’ (deception) for farmers. It (the purchases) will be over in a day or two,” he said.

He added that the Centre “wants us to buy the entire quantity and will share 25 per cent of the loss later. Is it justified? AP has already rejected the Centre’s offer. The Centre should be liberal and buy the entire quantity of chilli. This only shows that the Centre lacks clarity on farmers’ issues.”

Mr Rao said the state government will write to the Centre again and explain the ground reality.

He said the state government has been drawing the attention of the Central government to the chilli issue for two years but no action has been taken. “The Centre has miserably failed. Even state BJP leaders like Band-aru Dattatreya and G. Kishan Reddy have failed. While the state BJP leaders demand Rs 10,000 per quintal while visiting agricultural markets, their own government offered Rs 5,000 per quintal. This shows the contradictions in the BJP itself,” he alleged.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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