ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cotton : Monopoly Mess

The Monopoly Cotton Procurement Scheme looks increasingly like becoming a millstone around the Maharashtra government’s neck. The cash-strapped state has not been able to pay farmers yet, though procurement of cotton began on November 7. The Shetkari Sanghatana leader Sharad Joshi has launched an agitation that has spread rapidly through the cotton bowl of Vidarbha, where the government also apparently failed to open most of the proposed procurement centres. Hundreds of farmers have resorted to rail and road traffic blockades and stonepelting, catching the government off-guard. To tide over the immediate standoff and to mollify the agitating farmers, the state government has decided to release Rs 500 crore through the apex state cooperative bank. Joshi, on his part, has agreed to put off his threatened hunger strike till December 1 to allow for further talks.

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