The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to do away with the Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY) scheme, started by the previous BJP regime to provide a cushion to farmers against falling prices of certain agriculture commodities.
The scheme, implemented after unrest among farmers over falling prices, was criticised by certain quarters for allegedly benefiting traders, who would artificially depress prices in mandis.
Arguing that the scheme did not benefit farmers, Agriculture Minister Sachin Yadav said Monday the scheme was being wound up. He said the Congress government would continue pro-farmer schemes of the previous government as long as they were in the interest of farmers.
Criticising the move, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said it was an important scheme of the BJP government and he would take to the streets if it was stopped. He said by winding up the scheme, the Congress government wants to escape paying Rs 500 per quintal on soybean and maize — the extra amount that the farmers would receive. He said it was incumbent on the new government to honour payment of pro-farmer schemes initiated by his government.
Meanwhile, Yadav accused the BJP of misleading farmers by “fabricating” issues as it had no answer to decisions taken by the Kamal Nath government in the favour of farmers. Referring to the BBY scheme, he said the previous government used the phrase “up to Rs 500”, which meant it never intended to give Rs 500 on the two crops.
The minister further alleged that the BJP was misleading farmers by claiming that the Congress government has decided against payment of incentive (over and above the minimum support price) on the procurement of wheat.
“The procurement is yet to begin. No such decision has been taken. If the BJP has a copy it should make it public,” Yadav said, adding that the Centre had stopped the bonus of Rs 150 paid on wheat by the then Chouhan-led state government.