On first day of farmers protest to be carried on till 10th June, the Cabinet Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu today visited village Patto in Fatehgarh Sahib and purchased milk and vegetables from a farmer. Mr. Sidhu was accompanied by MLA Mr. Kuljit Singh Nagra and MLA Mr. Gurpreet Singh GP. They visited the farmhouse of farmer Gursharan Singh and made the purchase of milk and vegetables.The minister said that if the country is to be saved then saving farm sector ought to be a priority. He also said that by purchasing milk and vegetables today from the farmers, he wants to send a loud and clear message about the importance of the farmers.Lashing out at the Union Government, Mr. Sidhu said that the report of Swaminathan Commission is not being implemented and the farmers are not getting adequate price for their crops leading to escalation in suicides by the farmers. Advocating the fixing of Minimum Support Price (MSP) of the crops as per the oil prices, Mr. Sidhu said that during the past 25 years the oil prices have increased 12 fold whereas the MSP has only increased by 5 percent. Giving an example, he said that when the price of petrol was Rs. 20 per litre then the price off milk was Rs. 16 and now the price of petrol has risen to Rs. 80 whereas the price of milk stands at Rs. 45 per litre. Holding the Union Government responsible for increasing oil prices, he said that by reducing the prices of oil by 1 paise, the Union Government has played a cruel joke on the people of the country. He further added that keeping oil out of GST ambit signifies the un-honourable intentions on the part of Union Government.
He said that despite the limited resources the Punjab Government in accordance with the vision of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the debts of the farmers are being waived off. Apart from this, the State Government is ensuring prompt lifting of the crops in the mandis and payments are also being made in a timely manner.Mr. Sidhu further said that he has come to support the demonstration of the farmers and be the one to voice their due rights. He also divulged that by purchasing milk and vegetables from the farmers, he is signaling that this is high time we pay attention to the farming community. He also added that he along with two of his party MLAs wants to convey to the farmers that government stands shoulder to shoulder with them.Calling farmers the backbone of the economy of the country, the minister said that every difficulty encountered by the farming community would be a stumbling block in the development of the country. Holding NDA government at the centre responsible for farming crisis he made clear that had the pre poll promises been fulfilled the farmers wouldn't have been in such a sorry state of affairs. Exhorting the farmers to shun the path of suicides, he said that it is no permanent solution.Mr. Sidhu also elaborated that he has selected the farmhouse of Harsharan Singh because of the latter being a progressive farmer indulging in organic farming. He also divulged that organic farming is beneficial for both our the body as well as the soil where crops grow but it is also a boon from economic point of view for the farmers. On the occasion, Mr. Sidhu also met Manjit Singh Dadiana from Farmers Safe Food, Avtar Singh, and Satvir Singh Baasian and appreciated their enterprise of organic farming.