Paddy MSP hike 'grossly inadequate', says Punjab CM
The increase in MSP of other crops was also quite measly, he added, noting that the small hike in the base price of maize would discourage farmers from going in for the much-needed crop diversification to save the precious and depleting water resource.The chief minister said that the Swaminathan Committee, whose recommendations the central government has adamantly refused to accept, had clearly suggested that MSP should be at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday dubbed the MSP hike for paddy as not only ''grossly inadequate'' but ''an insult'' to the farmers who have been fighting against the Centre's three farm laws for the past over six months.
The Centre on Wednesday had announced to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by Rs 72 per quintal to Rs 1,940 per quintal for the 2021-22 crop year.
''At a time when the farmers continued to put their lives on the line with their prolonged protest at the Delhi borders, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central government has, instead of putting balm on their wounds, added insult to injury with the MSP announcement,'' said the chief minister in a statement here. Amarinder slammed the government at the Centre for ''consistently failing'' to protect the interests of the farmers and its apathy for their problems. ''The less than 4 per cent hike in MSP of paddy was not enough even to meet the increased input costs,'' he pointed out, citing the ''extraordinary'' hikes in diesel and other costs over the past one year. The increase in MSP of other crops was also quite measly, he added, noting that the small hike in the base price of maize would discourage farmers from going in for the much-needed crop diversification to save the precious and depleting water resource.
The chief minister said that the Swaminathan Committee, whose recommendations the central government has ''adamantly refused'' to accept, had clearly suggested that MSP should be ''at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production''. Far from implementing the recommendations of the Committee in the interests of the farmers and the nation's food security, the BJP-led government had passed the anti-farmer farm laws that are clearly aimed at ''destroying'' India's farmers, he lamented.
He further said that it was not enough for the union agriculture minister to say that the doors for talks with farmers were open. The Government of India should repeal the farm laws and then sit across the table with the farmers to come out with genuine and meaningful reforms in agriculture in the interest of the agricultural community and the entire nation, he said.
He demanded that the Centre should simplify procurement of all agricultural produce at MSP that fully covers farmers' cost plus 50 per cent margin, as recommended by the Swaminathan Committee.
Amarinder stressed the need to take the actual cost of production into account in measuring the MSP.
The miniscule MSP hike, he added, had once again “exposed” the Centre's “anti-farmer” policies and programmes.
''The government of India is increasingly becoming a bottleneck in the smooth procurement of food grains at MSP by making procedures and processes more complicated and anti-farmer,'' he alleged.
He warned that such an apathetic attitude towards the farmers, who had ensured that agriculture remained the biggest revenue earner for the government even amid the pandemic, would be detrimental to the long-term interests of the country. ''It could push India back into the pre Green Revolution era, forcing us once again to pick up the begging bowl to meet the food related needs of our people,'' he added.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)