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11 December 2016

RLD slams Centre for slashing import duty on wheat

New Delhi, Dec 9 (PTI) Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) today slammed the Centres move to slash import duty on wheat, saying after demonetisation the latest decision establishes the "anti-farmer" view of the NDA government.

RLD leader and former MP Jayant Chaudhary claimed the BJP, which had stormed to power at the Centre by making several promises to farmers, is essentially an "anti-farmer" party.

"Had it not been so, the government would have first resorted to administrative measures to bring down the inflated cost of wheat," he said noting the price of wheat in open market went up recently.

Notably the imported wheat as compared to home-grown wheat costs Rs 200 per quintal less in market and the governments move to slash its import duty would lower its cost further, he claimed.

"According to an agreement, India will receive about six lakh tonne wheat from Ukrain and Russia and another 6.25 lakh tonne from 25 other countries and is expected to arrive here by February 2017, the same time when the wheat grown by Indian farmers will also reach the markets.

"The result will be that the indigenous farmer would be forced to sell his produce at throw away prices and will once again end up being a victim of aimless decisions (of the Centre)," he said in a statement.

He also refuted Food minister Ram Vilas Paswans statement in Parliament that there was no shortage of wheat in the country, claiming the buffer stock was already lesser than the set lower limit.

Meanwhile, RLD chief Ajit Singh has asked party cadres to carry out demonstrations against the Centres move to slash import duty on wheat on December 12 and submit a memorandum to the government in this regard, the statement said. PTI KIS DIP

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