Chandigarh 21 March, 2020 Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday attended the News 18 Punjab Agri Summit 2020 in which he laid emphasis on diversification of crops and at the same time sought Centre’s help for the same. He however, expressed a little hope from the Centre. Speaking about the much touted tampering with the Minimum Support Price (MSP), he said the buck stops at the assistance of the central government. He also addressed the issues that clouded the past of Punjab. Amarinder Singh said that the government of Punjab has funds but it does not have plenty of funds. The chief minister stressed on the judicious and optimal use of resources. Captain looked gloomy on the issue of MSP and lamented on the fact that Punjab has always been the food bowl of the country but now it is being ignored by the central government. He also said that Punjab helped the country during tough times while now it has been ignored by the central government. He said, “The central government has forgotten that Punjab has always helped the nation in food goals. It has saved the nation from landing in the hot soup. The farmers in Punjab also work very hard.” On the Sustainable Development Goals and how Punjab manages these, he said, “It cannot happen immediately. The population has risen. It has risen rapidly since Green revolution. We need the help of central government.” On the question of Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech in which she talked about doubling the farmers’ income, he said, “If she has any means and methods to double the income of farmers, she should also share it with Punjab. sThe finance minister should at least give us some details and take our crops on correct rates. There has to be a way of doing it.” Laying emphasis on diversification of crops and changing of irrigation patterns Captain Amarinder Singh said Irrigation models of countries like Israel and Japan need to be adopted. “We have to get rid of paddy.” He further said, “If you are planning to decrease MSP, it is not going to help. We have to diversify our crops. We are trying to explain this to the government. For diversification, we have to look back that we already did it in 1966 for the country. Our crop produce was maximum back then. I think it is unfair on us if you forgot our support to the nation.” He added, “Though, I am least hopeful of the assistance from central government.”C On the contentious issue of the Satluj-Yamuna link canal, the chief minister reiterated, “We don’t have a drop of water to share.” He said that Punjab was now facing the problem of potable drinking water and Punjab’s rivers are dying and contaminated water is making things worse, Punjab is becoming a belt of cancer. Expressing hope the Chief Minister said that the remaining next two years of his term would witness unprecedented growth in Punjab. “We have registered an increase in revenue. We have money. We just have to use it judiciously.” The New18 Punjab Agri Summit was also attended by cabinet ministers Tript Rajinder Bajwa and Bharat Bhushan Ashu. Besides, senior officials of the Punjab agriculture department, including KS Pannu, Director, Agriculture Punjab were also present on the occasion.