BJP senior leader and Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment Bandaru Dattatraya here on Sunday accused the TRS government of politicizing farmers’ suicides and cotton purchases.
Speaking to the media here, Dattatraya said the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had allocated Rs 10,000 crore for cotton procurement in Telangana State. Questioning the TRS government as to how much money it released for the cotton purchases in the State, Dattatraya asserted that the Centre had taken all possible measures to help the distressed cotton farmers.
The Union minister also made it clear that the Centre could not release Rs 230 crore drought subsidy to the State as the State government failed to announce the list of drought affected mandals so far. He also ridiculed the State government for not having correct information about suicides of farmers. Asserting that all States in the country were equal to the BJP government, Dattatraya took serious exception to the needless remarks of Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Instead of blaming the Centre for everything, the State government can encourage private agencies to procure some quantities of cotton, he suggested.
Of the total arrivals of 15667 quintals in Warangal Market Yard, the CCI purchased 2081 quintals out of 2594 quintals offered that is 80 per cent of produce, he said. The CCI did not purchase the cotton from those without the bar code and more moisture content. As per scientific study, moisture content should be 8 to 12 per cent and was not increased to 20 per cent as sought by the State government, he said, adding that the CCI was procuring cotton at an average MSP of Rs 4022 per quintal, long staple type at Rs 4100, private average rate is Rs 3750. While the State government sought Rs 5000 per quintal, Union Agriculture Ministry will take a decision in this regard only after going through the issue, he said.
Dattatreya said the Centre will press in CCI to procure as market intervention when the State government failed to procure the cotton and offer minimum support price. Had the Telangana Government given identity cards to all the cotton growers, the CCI could have purchased more cotton, he said. So far, only 50 per cent of the cotton farmers are holding these cards, he added. (NSS)