Chandigarh, July 6: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday observed that state should stop ‘shedding crocodile tears’ on farmers’ suicides when it had not been taking steps for their welfare. The HC was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) pending since September 2014 seeking implementation of the minimum support price (MSP) scheme. The division bench of justice SS Saron and justice Shekher Dhawan came down heavily on the Punjab government for failing to procure crops on MSP.
Under the scheme, two dozen crops are procured from farmers on a minimum price. The crops include maize and sunflower among others.
The court observed that Central ministry of farmers welfare should be named as “Farmers Farewell” since Centre’s policies are driving farmers to leave farming.
During the hearing it came to light that Punjab has not been procuring sunflower under MSP and Haryana too has stopped it recently. Punjab has been arguing that the Centre should provide funds in advance for procurement.
“You say farmer should diversify crops. Ask experts not to write articles on farm diversification when you don’t bother about them,” the HC bench said.
The court added that government had brought farm tools under GST and farmers were being forced to pay more for fuel. “Don’t shed crocodile tears on farmers suicides, when your actions are otherwise (not in their interest),” the HC bench observed.
Later, advocate general, Atul Nanda sought more time from court and said the CM Amarinder Singh is to visit New Delhi on Thursday and is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he would take up these issues.