SAD President and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today criticised the Centre for the proposed 15 per cent cut in fertiliser subsidy from the 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 the price index, as had been recommended by the Dr Swaminathan Commission.
Addressing an election gathering in favour of party candidate 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.
He demanded Rs 2,200 per quintal as wheat MSP in view of the rising cost of agriculture inputs.
“If immediate steps are not taken, farmers will be pushed deeper into the debt trap, which can create socio-economic problems,” Sukhbir warned.
He claimed that the Centre was favouring multinational companies which had been raising prices at their will.
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, he said.
The Moga by-poll is slated for February 23.