In a bid to further alleviate the woes of state’s distressed farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has sought a hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on various crops for Rabi 2019-20 from the Central government.

On the directives of the CM, the state agriculture department has come out with a detailed proposal for the hike in the MSP of wheat from Rs 1840 per quintal in 2018-19 to Rs 2710 in 2019-20 and barley from Rs 1440 to Rs 1974 per quintal.

The proposal, submitted to the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), also seeks a hike in the MSP of gram from the earlier Rs 4620 to Rs 5631 per quintal and of rapeseed and mustard from Rs 4200 to Rs 5384 per quintal.

The hike, said the CM, was important for promoting crops like Barley, Gram, Rapeseed and Mustard in the state to give the much-needed push for crop diversification that would help arrest the depleting groundwater table in Punjab.

Amarinder said while the state government had taken all possible steps to ease the problems of the farmers, including farm debt waiver, the Centre’s intervention was needed to support these measures, especially in the matter of MSP which was under its control.

The CM reiterated his demand for in toto implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission report to ensure the much-needed improvement in the agriculture system and better remuneration for the farmers.