The recently announced hike of Rs 50 per quintal in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat is the lowest ever in the past decade. With the hike, wheat will now be procured at Rs 1,975 per quintal in the coming Rabi seasons, against Rs 1,925 last year.
Data sourced from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for the last 10 years revealed that in 2010-11, the wheat MSP was Rs 1,100 which was hiked to Rs 1,170 in 2011-12. A Rs 115 per quintal hike was announced in 2012-13, when the MSP announced was Rs 1,285 in 2012-13, an increase of 9.8 per cent. This was one of the sharpest hike in MSP in the past decade.
In the following years, MSP was Rs 1,350 per quintal (5.1 per cent increase) in 2013-14, Rs 1,400 per quintal (3.7 per cent increase) in 2014-15, Rs 1,450/quintal (3.6 per cent increase) in 2015-16, Rs 1,525/quintal (5.2 per cent) in 2016-17, Rs 1,625 per quintal (6.6 per cent increase) in 2017-18, Rs 1,735 per quintal (increase of 6.8 per cent) in 2018-19 MSP, Rs 1,840 per quintal (increase of 6.1 per cent) in 2019-20, Rs 1,925 per quintal (an increase of 4.6 per cent) in 2020-21 and now Rs 1,975 per quintal (increase of 2.6 per cent).
“This is the lowest ever hike in wheat MSP in the past decade — Rs 1,925 to Rs 1,975 per quintal is just a nominal increase and also one of the lowest ever since this government has come in power in 2014. With such efforts, the Modi government will ‘empower’ farmers,” said Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) Dakaunda General Secretary Jagmohan Singh, adding that by bringing the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, the government has already run away from the MSP regime and this announcement was made “just to divert the attention of the agitating farmers”. “If government is serious about crop price then today they would have been getting MSP as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Report,” he further said.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described the higher MSP as empowering the farmers and contributing to doubling their income,” he added
“At a time of a pandemic, when farmers need more support, this meagre hike in MSP depicts the insensitive attitude of the government towards farmers, said Sukhdev Singh Kokrikala, general secretary, BKU Ugrahan.
“Government has diluted implementation of Swaminathan Report recommendation and fudging the data. They are showing the hike of MSP but not the hike of the input cost and if both are calculated, then one would come to know that how farmers’ crops’ rates have not really increased,” said Kokrikala.
Meanwhile, in Mukerian sub-division which is a stronghold of BJP, large number of pro-BJP farmers and party supporters have decided to not to vote for BJP in the future. They said this hike in MSP and the farm Bills are not acceptable to them.
Subhash Chand, 60, a farmer from Jandwal village, said that ever since he has started voting, he only voted for BJP, but not any more in the future. “These three Bills have exposed the Prime Minister completely and his intention for the farmers,” he said while participating in a gathering with other farmers at village Behbal Manjh.
Farmer Rajesh from Mojowal village said, “I was ready to give my head for BJP but no more after these anti-farmer Bills. Let the BJP supporters come to our village for asking vote and we will teach them the lesson of their lives.”
Many party workers and pro-BJP farmers also pledged to participate in the September 25 protest against the Centre.
In the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019, the BJP candidate got 74,913 votes against 37,207 of the Congress candidate from Mukerian Assembly constituency.
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