Special Correspondent

Government steps in to prevent distress sale

Centre urged to fix MSP for paddy at the earliest

Officials told to supply fertilizers, seeds to farmers

Bangalore: With a view to saving farmers from resorting to distress sale of paddy, owing to slump in prices, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Wednesday said the Government will release Rs. 80 crore from the revolving fund and purchase paddy in Bellary, Koppal, Raichur, Davangere, Shimoga and Yadgir districts.

Addressing presspersons, Mr. Yeddyurappa said that there was an urgent for market intervention. The State Government has discussed the issue with Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and urged him to fix the minimum support price for paddy for 2010-11 at the earliest. As an immediate measure, the Government would ask the Deputy Commissioners of these districts to purchase A grade paddy at Rs.1,030, a quintal and common variety at Rs.1,000 a quintal.

Expressing his happiness over the good monsoon ushering in sowing work in most districts, the Chief Minister said he had directed the Deputy Commissioners to supply fertilizers and seeds to farmers. Mr. Yeddyurappa, who reviewed a meeting on agriculture, said he wanted the administration to ensure that there was no shortage of these inputs.

He said that the foreshore areas of Bhadra, Kabini, Hidkal, Markandeya and Narayanpur reservoirs would be beautified as tourist spots on the lines of Alamatti dam with private participation. Parks and fountains would be developed at these places. This proposal would be placed before the global investors meet.

He said that Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had agreed to inaugurate the newly built Mysore airport and the airport terminal at Mangalore on May 15. A request had been made to the Union Civil Aviation Secretary to start work on the Belgaum and Bidar airports. The State Government had identified private partners for the construction of airports at Gulbarga and Shimoga.

Mr. Yeddyurappa, who visited Mysore Lamps and Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited recently, said that he proposed to spend five hours every week on problems such as water scarcity, roads, pollution and projects/works in the city and streamline administration. The metro rail work would be speeded up. The Government lands, including 380 acres at Ramakrishna Hegde Nagar, which had been encroached upon, would be recovered.