Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make an early announcement of increase in the minimum support price for paddy and also lift the ban on export of the Pusa-1121 variety of rice.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Hooda has sought an MSP of Rs.1,200 per quintal for the coarse variety of paddy, Rs.1,300 per quintal for the fine variety and Rs.1,400 per quintal for the superfine quality.

He has also urged Dr. Singh to direct the Union Commerce Ministry to lift the ban on export of Pusa-1121, which was similar to the Basmati variety. This variety did not form part of the levy pool nor was consumed by the common man because it was as costly as Basmati rice itself. In view of this, export of this variety would neither affect the Public Distribution System purchases for the Central Pool nor would the price of the common variety of rice increase in the Indian markets due to its export, he added.