Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday demanded the central government to reconstitute its newly-formed committee on MSP (Minimum Support Price) giving due representation to the state.
The chief minister wrote separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and agriculture ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and urged them to get the committee on MSP reconstituted as the panel has no representative from Punjab.
The Union government formed a committee on MSP earlier this week, nearly eight months after it promised to set up such a panel.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Mann slammed the Centre for not giving Punjab a representation in the committee, saying the panel without any farmers from the state will be like a "body without soul".
In his letter, the chief minister wrote that under the National Food Security Act, 2013, approximately 60-62 million tonnes of wheat and rice are distributed every year to about 800 million people in the country at highly subsidised rates.
"These welfare programmes for the poor have been made possible due to the contribution of Punjab," wrote Mr Mann.
He said Punjab has played a key role in ushering in the green revolution and making the country's foodgrains surplus.
"In this committee, many experts and senior officers from various states have been included as members but no representation has been given to Punjab, the state in which the MSP mechanism is being implemented most successfully since the initiation of this scheme," Mann wrote in the letter.
"You will appreciate that Punjab has played a vital role in making the country self-sufficient in foodgrains by contributing about 35-40 per cent of wheat and 25-30 per cent of rice to the central pool during the last about one decade," he wrote.
He also said that during 2021-22, out of total global rice exports of about 54 million tonnes, India's contribution was around 40 per cent at 21.5 million tonnes and a large quantity came from Punjab.
India also exported about 8 million tonnes of wheat during 2021-22, he said.
According to a Union government notification issued on Monday, the committee will look into ways to make MSP available to farmers by making the system more effective and transparent.
Besides, the panel will also look into ways to promote natural farming, crop diversification, and micro-irrigation schemes.
Senior members of agricultural universities, five central government secretaries, and chief secretaries of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and Odisha are part of the panel.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions, has declared that it will not be part of the panel alleging that the "so-called farmer leaders" who supported the now-repealed farm laws are its members.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)