New Delhi, Jul 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Wednesday address a Kisan Kalyan rally in Muktsar district of Punjab to mark the recent hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Kharif crops. Announcing his visit to Punjab, PM Modi took to the micro-blogging site Twitter and wrote, “Tomorrow I would be visiting Punjab to address a Kisan Kalyan Rally in Malout, Muktsar district. Farmers from Punjab have an invaluable contribution in the growth of India’s agriculture sector. I look forward to tomorrow’s rally.”

The rally has been organised by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Malout. SAD chief Sukhbir Badal and other important leaders are expected to attend the rally.

On July 4, the government had announced a hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy by Rs 200 per quintal to fulfil its poll promise to provide farmers 50 per cent more than their cost of production.

The previous highest hike in paddy MSP was Rs 170 a quintal in the 2012-13 the election year of UPA-II. In the last four years, the NDA government had raised the paddy MSP between Rs 50-80 per quintal. While the BJP had promised in 2014 to give farmers a price of 1.5 times of cost, an announcement to give effect to the promise was made in the government’s fifth and final annual Budget presented on February 1 this year.

India is estimated to have harvested a record foodgrains production at 279.51 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June) on the all-time high output of rice, wheat, coarse cereals, and pulses.

(With agency inputs)