Raise cotton MSP to Rs 5,000: Harish asks Centre

Marketing and Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao today urged the Centre to increase minimum support price of cotton to Rs 5,000 from the existing Rs 4100.

The minister called on Union Textiles Minister Sanjay Kumar Panda in Delhi along with MPs B Vinod Kumar, Jithender Reddy, K Prabhakar Reddy, Telangana representative in Delhi Ramachandra Tejavath.

Speaking to mediapersons later, Harish Rao said he had apprised the Union minister to direct officials to procure the entire cotton produce available with the farmers. Though the Centre promised to set up 84 cotton purchase centers to procure all cotton from the farmers, so far only 45 centers were opened, he said. Harish Rao also said he complained to Panda that the Cotton Corporation of India officials were not purchasing cotton to full extent and denying MSP to the producers.

Besides pressing the Centre for hike in MSP for the cotton produce to help farmers, Harish Rao asked the Centre to direct CCI to purchase all the cotton available with the farmers. He lamented till last November, the CCI had purchased about one lakh quintals of cotton from the farmers, this time they procured only 15,000 quintals, he deplored. Harish Rao also said he asked Panda to raise moisture percentage of cotton from 12.5 per cent to 20 per cent and take all steps to help the farmers.

The Marketing minister also called on Union Civil Supplies Secretary Vrinda Sarup and asked her to extend to maize crop in Telangana. He also discussed with Vrinda on the issues related to Civil Supplies department and sought more stocks of essential commodities cater to the growing needs. (NSS)