Fri, 29 Sep 2023

New Delhi [India], June 8 (ANI): Congress on Thursday rejected the Minimum Support Price (MSP) announced by the Modi government for different Kharif crops.

The party said, "Not only was the MSP far less than what the farmers should ideally get, but the government makes very limited purchases even on this meagre MSP."Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here today, Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "The government had promised to fix the MSP of various crops after computing the input costs plus fifty per cent profit.""The MSP announced by the government nowhere reaches that amount," he said.

"Even at this low MSP, there is hardly any purchase of the crops. When there is no intention to procure crops on MSP, what is the purpose of announcing it? The MSP under the Modi government had turned into "maximum suffering of the producer (farmer)," he further remarked.

He said, "With the actions of the last several years of this government it had been proved that the BJP was made of anti-farmer DNA."Substantiating his charges, Surjewala said, "There was hardly any purchase of crops at the MSP, with official facts and figures. Of the 1302 lakh tons of paddy produced in the year 2022-23, the government had purchased only 651.70 tons which was only fifty per cent."He said, "The position of wheat procurement was much worse. Of the 1068.4 lakh tons of wheat produced last year, the government procured only 187.92 lakh tons, which comes to a meagre 17.59 per cent on the MSP. Similarly, only 0.13 per cent of oilseeds, 0.43 per cent of pulses and 0.26 per cent of Jawar, Bajra, Ragi and Corn were procured at the MSP."Questioning the Prime Minister on his promises to farmers to double their income by the year 2022 and fix the MSP of various crops at the input costs plus fifty per cent profit, he said, "The central government had rejected even the BJP-ruled state governments recommendations for fixing the MSP of various crops."Quoting official data, he said, "According to the fifty per cent input cost plus fifty per cent profit, the MSP of paddy should have been Rs 2867 per quintal against Rs 2183 announced by the government.""The BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, Assam and Maharashtra had recommended Rs 2750, Rs 3132 and Rs 4534 MSP per quintal for paddy and the BJP had rejected these recommendations," he added.

Surjewala said, "Similarly there were huge gaps between the input costs and the MSP announced by the government on other crops like Jawar, Bajra, Corn, Moong etc.""Not only had the Modi government cut down massively on the agriculture budget, but had not spent even the left out amount on agriculture. When you don't have to spend it on agriculture, why allocate it," he asked.

He also disclosed that against the 4.41 per cent allocated in the 2019-20 budget for agriculture, only 2.57 per cent was allocated in the subsequent budget.

Giving figures, he said, "While Rs 34,518 crores were allocated for agriculture in 2019-20, only Rs 23,825 crores were allocated in the following year. The year 2021-22 was worse with a mere allocation of Rs 429 crores only from 34,518 crores in 2019-20.""Time had come for the Prime Minister to answer the questions of 62 crores farmers who were feeling betrayed by him with repeated betrayals," he added.

Listing other betrayals by the Modi government with the farmers, he said, "Two crores farmers were dropped from the Kisan Samman Nidhi last year. It must be a unique case in the world where two crore farmers got removed.""What happened to the Rs 1 lakh crore agriculture infrastructure development fund announced by Prime Minister Modi three years ago with much fanfare?" he further questioned. (ANI)

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