As the Union government on Wednesday hiked the minimum support price for paddy by a record Rs 200 per quintal, farmer outfits in Punjab said that farmers in the state had been cheated as they will only get Rs 180 per quintal.
Every year, government gives two MSPs for paddy crop — one for Grade A variety and second for ‘common’ variety . This time government has hiked ‘common’ variety MSP from Rs 1550 to Rs 1750 and for Grade A variety from Rs 1590 to 1770 per quintal.
“In Punjab 90 per cent Grade A variety is produced for which the raise is Rs 180 and so the farmers of Punjab will face Rs 20 cut per quintal,” said Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Dakonda general secretary Jagmohan Singh
They said that no doubt that it is the highest ever single raise in MSP, but government should stop claiming that it has fulfilled the promise of giving 1.5 times MSP of the production cost.
BKU Ugrahan general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said: “According to Swaminathan committee report Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) Ludhiana had calculated the MSP which comes to Rs 2420/quintal for Grade A and 2200/quintal for common variety of paddy as it included total input cost, labour cost, family labour cost, the rent of the land.” He added that government calculates farmland rent at the rate of Rs 13,000 per acre which is unfair when the land rents are between Rs 40,000 to 55,000 per acre in Punjab.
They said that this government has neither fulfilled C-2 formula recommendations, given by Swaminathan Committee report, which called 1.5 times MSP of the production cost, nor the recommendations of Ramesh Chander Committee of set up by Centre which had given C-3 formula according to which 10 per cent more amount was to be given on the C-2 formula calculations.
“MSP hike must not be connected with the 1.5 times MSP on the input cost as it is a big farce,” said Jagmohan, adding forget the C-3 formula of Modi government, it won’t even implement C-2 formula of the Swaminathan Committee
All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha General Secretary Dr Ashish Mittal said that while calculating cost of cultivation govt has unfairly kept land
rent out in order to deliberately lower its calculation while raising MSP by 1.5 times.
“Rise in diesel, harvesting and transport cost has to be accounted for. Government has been insensitive towards farmers in order to keep helping corporates,” said a farmer, Paramjit Singh Sooch.
PAU experts too said that it is wrong to connect this MSP hike with the 1.5 times higher price of the crop yield.