Dy CM criticises Centre for proposed fertiliser subsidy cut

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday criticised the Centre for the proposed 15 per cent cut in fertiliser subsidy from next financial year. Describing the step as "anti-farmer", he said instead of slashing the subsidy, the Centre should link the Minimum Support Price of crops with price index, as had been recommended by the Dr Swaminathan Commission.

Addressing an election gathering for Joginderpal Jain at various villages, he also criticised the Centre for decontrolling diesel prices. "These steps will sound the death knell for the already dwindling agriculture sector," he said while demanding Rs 2,200 per quintal wheat MSP in view of the rising cost of agriculture inputs.

"If immediate steps are not taken, farmers will be pushed deeper in the debt trap, which can create socio-economic problems," Sukhbir warned.

Claiming that the Centre was favouring multi-national companies, which had been raising prices at their will, Sukhbir said: "The UPA government's ill-conceived policies had reduced the country's economic growth to 5 per cent whereas inflation had already crossed the double digit figure."

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