Government Raises MSP of Wheat by Rs 40; PM Welcomes Increase, Punjab CM Unhappy
However, the MSP set for wheat for 2021-22 is the lowest in a decade.
The Centre on Wednesday, 8 September, raised the minimum support price (MSP) it will pay to buy new-season wheat from farmers by Rs 40 to Rs 2,015 per quintal and for mustard by Rs 400 to Rs 5,050.
The cost of production of wheat is estimated at Rs 1,008 per quintal, the centre said in a statement, NDTV reported. However, the MSP set for wheat for 2021-22 is the lowest in a decade.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha on Wednesday, 8 September, issued a press release, saying the government had "actually reduced the MSP of rabi crops in real terms."
"While the retail inflation stands at 6%, the MSP of wheat and chana has been increased by 2% and 2.5% alone. This means that in real terms, MSP of wheat and chana has been reduced by 4% and 3.5% respectively."Samyukt Kisan Morcha
India is the world's second-biggest wheat consumer. MSP, the rate at which the government buys grain from farmers, is set each year to protect farmers from market variations.
The body said the farmers are not only facing the "brunt of increased prices of diesel, petrol, agricultural inputs and their daily necessities", they are also becoming poorer with the reduction in their income.
The SKM also asserted their demand for a legal guarantee for MSP, which, they said has been their longstanding key demand.
The SKM also said even the RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Kisan Sangh called the MSP an illusion and will be launching a country-wide protest asking for a law to ensure MSP for all farmers.
Currently, the MSP for 23 crops, grown in both summer and winter sowing seasons, is fixed by the government.
PM Modi Welcomes Move, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Calls it Pathetic
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Cabinet's decision to increase the MSP for Rabi crops will encourage farmers "to sow a wide variety of crops".
"Taking another big decision today in the interest of farmer brothers and sisters, the government has approved the increase in MSP of all Rabi crops," PM Modi tweeted. "While this will ensure maximum remunerative price for the ''Annadataas'', it will also encourage them to sow a wide variety of crops," he added.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said this was like "rubbing salt on the wounds" of the farmers.
"At a time when India's agriculture sector is passing through a distress phase and the farmers are agitating for a remunerative minimum support price (MSP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government of India has played a cruel joke on the 'annadaatas'."Amarinder Singh, chief minister of Punjab
He said the present MSP for wheat was "far below the expectations of the farmers of Punjab" and demanded it to be fixed at Rs 2,830 per quintal.
He said the farming sector, which has one of the biggest economic strengths of the country, has been brought to the "brink of disaster" thanks to the BJP-led government's "continued apathy" towards the farmers.
"It is time the government at the Centre heeds the problems of the farmers and gives them their due. Why is the Centre treating our farmers so obnoxiously?" he asked.
This comes just three days after thousands of farmers reached the Muzaffarnagar's GIC ground where the kisan mahapanchayat was held on Sunday, 5 September.
Protesting farmers at the Kisan Mahapanchayat reiterated their conviction to continue with their agitation until the three contentious farm laws were withdrawn. The farmers' body also declared that it would campaign against BJP in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls in 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) where the decision to raise the price was taken.
The CCEA said in a statement that the raising of MSP for six rabi crops for the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) and 2022-23 marketing seasons has been approved. Wheat and mustard are the two major rabi crops.
Moreover, the CCEA added, the MSP has been raised to encourage crop diversification as the return to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of wheat, canola oil seed, and mustard, followed by lentil, gram, barley, and safflower, NDTV reported.
(With inputs from IANS, NDTV and The Indian Express)
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