The Agriculture Minister Punjab today demanded Rs 500 bonus on wheat from Union Government for the farmers of Punjab facing natural calamity due to bad weathers. He pointed out that after 1967 only a meager 16 percent rates of crops have been increased while the rates of other agri-input have been increased upto 100 to 250 percent. Addressing media persons Tota Singh said that the farmers of Punjab have been reeling under a huge debt of Rs 35,000 crore and the state was facing the chronicle disease of Cancer due to excessive usage of pesticides. He said that by paying special attention towards the Punjab, the center should provide a relief package in the interest of state on the pattern of Kerala and Bengal as Punjab was a landlocked state. Strongly advocating for Rs 500 as bonus per quintal of wheat, Tota Singh said that the MSP of Wheat and Paddy should be maintain at par the price index. He also appealed the Members of Parliament from Punjab to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for immediate removal of crisis before the farming sector of the state. Tota Singh also demanded the construction of Silos or Godowns for the storage of wheat and paddy through public private partnership. He said that it could save the lakhs of tones of grains being rotten every year under the open sky. On the issue of linking rivers, the Minister said that the ground water table of the state had already gone down up to 100 feet so it could not be in interest of farmers and the Punjab Government was not in favour of river linkage. Expecting more than 167 Lakh metric tonnes of wheat production during the ongoing season, Tota Singh said that this season would witness 10 percent of the total yield of wheat. He said that the instructions have been issued to stop the sale of duplicate seeds of BT Cotton in the state and the state government has signed MoUs with 28 companies to arrange 25 lakh packets of BT Cotton seeds, out of which 60 percent would be provided to the farmers through Markfed while the shopkeepers would sale the rest 40 percent. The Minister said that the instructions have already been issued to sow paddy saplings from May 1 while the Paddy plantation process could be started from June 10. He said that flying squad teams of Agriculture Department would ensure the implementation of such directions in true spirit.Prominent amongst those who were present on the occasion included G.S. Sandhu, FCD and Mangal Singh Sandhu, Director Agriculture.