Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has termed the Centre’s decision to hike the minimum support price(MSP) of paddy by Rs 80 per quintal as “disappointing,” and his party, the BJD today decided to launch a state-wide agitation against the NDA government.
The farmers’ issue is a national issue and cannot be solved without the support of the union government, Patnaik said adding, “the decision of the Centre on MSP yesterday is totally disappointing.”
BJD vice-president and Odisha’s Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister S N Patro called upon farmers to oppose the Centre’s decision of increasing the MSP on paddy. He said the state government would ask the Centre to revise its decision on the MSP on paddy.
“The hike in paddy MSP is very less. Even if the state wants to support the farmers with bonus, it cannot do so due to restrictions imposed by the Centre,” he said.
The union agriculture ministry had yesterday announced its decision on paddy MSP and proposed to increase it from Rs 1,470 to Rs 1,550 per quintal.
“We will stage demonstrations across the state and tell people how BJP backtracked from its promises made to the farmers,” BJD spokesperson Samir Ranjan Dash said.
Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati criticised the Centre and said the decision to hike MSP by Rs 80 per quintal is a “joke” at the farmers.
“We will launch a stir against the Centre and call other political parties including BJP to come to the streets for the interest of the farmers,” Bahinipati said.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said here that the Centre has hiked MSP of paddy three times in the last three years. It has made provision for agri loan at the lowest rate of interest. It has also introduced Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
“The allegations by the state government are only a farce, it has done nothing for the betterment of farmers,” he added.
Odisha Assembly had earlier unanimously passed a resolution demanding a hike in paddy MSP to Rs 2,930 per quintal. The house committee chaired by the speaker had also sought an appointment to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to present their demand for consideration. However, the House Committee has not so far been able to meet the Prime Minister, said BJD Chief Whip Amar Prasad Satpathy.
The agriculture ministry website said the paddy MSP has been hiked on basis of recommendations made by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). The price for A-grade paddy is fixed at Rs 1,590 per quintal while the rate of common variety paddy was Rs 1550 per quintal, Patro said