Chandigarh: Faced with a farmers threat about dumping potatoes on Jalandhar roads from 15th December, chief minister Prakash Singh Badal expeditiously asked state agency Markfed to offer subsidy to potato growers in distress.
Earlier, the Punjab Rural Development Board was directed to release Rs 2 Cr to Markfed from the Rural Development Fund to implement the freight subsidy scheme for interstate and export movement of potatoes, a offical communiquÃ© stated.
Whereas the protesting farmers are demanding a freight subsidy of Re 1 per Kg for marking older potato crop that is lying in cold stores and intended for domestic markets but the government has only approved the 2009 scheme which provides for Re 0.50 per Kg subsidy. The farmers are also demanding Rs 2 per Kg for export of potatoes but the government has approved Re 1 per Kg.
“The freight subsidy is proposed to be offered on the 2009 pattern, when potato prices had dropped substantially, said a senior Markfed manager.