Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

NDA ally SSS warns of stir over 2-pc hike

Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Mumbai | Posted: June 29, 2014 1:35 am

The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), which is supporting the NDA government, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revise its decision on increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on foodgrain to ensure better dividends to farmers.

SSS chief Raju Shetty, who convened a two-day conclave at Khapoli in Maharashtra, told The Sunday Express, “I still have hopes that Modi will consider our demand for raising the MSP by at least 16 per cent to ensure farmers recover the production cost in the agriculture sector.”

The Modi government recently cleared around 2 per cent hike in the MSP.

“If Railway Ministry feels it is necessary to hike the fares to 14% to make its viable, then we expect Agriculture Ministry should raise the MSP for farmers to 16% to ensure they recover their production cost. The farmers’ investment needs to be factored in with rising fertiliser prices and overall inflation,” Shetty said.

“They have taken the right decision to increase the import duty on raw sugar from 18 to 40 per cent, which will help in stabilising the sugar industry and benefit sugarcane farmers. We now expect them to extend it to farmers cultivating foodgrain by raising the MSP,” Shetty said.

“If the farmers’ demands are not met, we will agitate across Maharashtra. The 2 per cent hike on MSP for foodgrain is not acceptable to us. It should be put on hold and revised again,” he said.

“On July 1, we will meet Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to discuss the MSP policy. If the Centre heeds to our demand, it is alright. Otherwise, we will take to streets,” Shetty said.

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