After the huge rush of paddy coming from Uttar Pradesh and also Bihar, to the state of Punjab to sell basmati, which is a slender grained, premier quality rice at Minimum Support Price Rate, several trucks have been caught by farm union leaders in Punjab.
While Basmati is not bought by the government, it has extreme demand in the international market and is purchased by the private players in India. Compared to last year, this year the rates of Basmati are low and farmers have blamed the huge influx of Basmati from the other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab. The farmers mentioned that the traders, some of the political leaders and rice millers are in close collaboration to bring Basmati from other states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar which in turn leaves a negative consequence on the farmers of Punjab. Since, the millers have been forcing the farmers to sell the Basmati at a low price as compared to the price existing in the markets, their argument being, they already have sufficient supply of Basmati from several other states.
While last year the early variety of Pusa Basmati 1509 (Pusa Basmati 1509 can be defined as a semi dwarf whose stems are sturdy. They mature early with its seed to seed variety being 120 days) was sold at almost Rs 2700 per quintal rate, this year the price dropped to a range between Rs 1600 to Rs 2100. Traders have expressed their concern that even the late variety of Basmati 1121 will not be sold at good price in the market.
According to one farm leader, several dozens of trucks were stopped by a Cabinet Minister which carried Basmati from the border of Punjab-Haryana. In the current scenario, another cabinet minister has requested for the release of the trucks. Unions, have however, said that food is being served to the drivers of the trucks.