A large number of farmers from across Odisha and also from neighbouring West Bengal on Monday staged a demonstration highlighting various problems faced by the farming community. They demanded hike in minimum support price (MSP) and farm loan waiver and warned of wider protests if the government remains insensitive to their demands. The farmers assembled at the Lower PMG here holding banners and shouting slogans. The farmers, under the aegis of Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanaya Samiti, also demanded safeguarding their rights.
Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sangharsh Samiti of West-Bengal also joined the protest here. The farmers demanded that the MSP of paddy should be increased to Rs 2,930 per quintal as was promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier. They also said the Centre hiked the paddy MSP by a mere Rs 80 which wasn’t enough.
Besides, no steps have been taken up to waive farm loans, they added. Farmer leader Prafulla Samantray warned both the state and the central govenrment and said the farmers would raise their voice and stage protest in every village in coming days if the government does not take up the issues and provide justice to them.
Agriculture minister Damodar Rout said the Reserve Bank of India was against the idea of loan waiver. On the MSP hike issue, Rout said the central govenrment decides the MSP rate and the govenrment has nothing to do with it.