New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Delhi Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said the implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee on farmers in the national capital will be on the top priority of the government.

Speaking to IANS, Rai said the government was not able to implement it in the last term due to lack of infrastructure for grain storage.

“We will be working on the details for the implementation of the report in Delhi. Lack of infrastructure for grain storage was an issue before the government. We will be looking for solutions to the same,” Rai said.

The National Commission on Farmers, headed by M.S. Swaminathan, had submitted its report to the Centre in 2006.

One of the recommendations of the Commission was that MSP should be at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production.

In Delhi’s 2019-20 Budget, Rs 100 crore was kept for the implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee report.

Speaking about the plight of the farmers in the Budget speech, Finance Minister Manish Sisodia said: “When the country was ruled by the British, the farmers had not committed suicides. But when the county is heading towards the development, the farmers are committing suicide in the 21st Century.”

Calling it the first government to implement the recommendations of the report, he said despite being presented in 2006, no government in the county has implemented the Swaminathan report.

“Delhi government will implement the recommendations of the report. Rs 100 crore has been kept for this in the Budget for 2019-20,” he said.

In January-February 2019, the Delhi government conceptualised the implementation of the recommendations of the report of Swaminathan Committee on farmers after about month-long discuss with stakeholders, including the farmers.

The recommendations were to be launched under the “Mukhya Mantri Kisan Mitra Yojna”.

Under the proposed schemes, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) with 50 per cent margin at the cost of production was likely to be Rs 2,616 per quintal for wheat and Rs 2,667 quintal for paddy, an official told IANS.

“The proposed MSP structure is higher than the Government of India MSP by Rs 776 per quintal for wheat and Rs 897 per quintal for paddy,” he said.

The Development Department has calculated that the government will have to incur an additional liability of Rs 96.38 crore at this MSP.

The farmers of the national capital were also eager for the implementation of the scheme.

Speaking to IANS, 60-year-old Balbir Jat said the implementation of the recommendation will be a great help to the farmers here.

“If the farmers are paid more, they can lead a dignified life and will not have to struggle for everyday needs,” Jat said.

(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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