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Bihar announces bonus for paddy, ignores Centre advisory

A bonus of Rs 300 per quintal for paddy was among nine announcements made by Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi after presenting report card of the government on completion of nine years in power on Tuesday.

Welcoming the decision, state Food Minister Shyam Rajak on Wednesday said ‘while Narendra Modi government cares more for Industrialists, our government is for welfare of poor and farmers.’

Senior JD(U) leader and former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been highlighting Centre’s note against bonus during his ongoing political rallies as part of ‘Samparak Yatra.’

Kumar had recently said that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘made a tall claim during poll campaign for increasing minimum support price to the level of one-and-a- half times to the input cost, the truth is far different and now they are warning states against announcement of bonus.’

It may be recalled that a letter written by the union food ministry to the state government in July this year had cautioned states that if they announce bonus the Centre would limit its procurement undertaken through FCI and the concerned state governments would have to take care of the surplus paddy procured.

Rajak, a close confidante of Kumar, said: ‘We are not afraid of any threat. Let the BJP-led NDA government do whatever it wants. Our government will work in the interest of farmers and poor.’

He suggested the BJP ruled states negate the Centre advisory and announce bonus for farmers.
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