The Congress on Thursday claimed that the Narendra Modi government merely announced minimum support price (MSP) for farmers but never procured their produce at those rates.
Addressing a press conference, party general secretary Randeep Surjewala claimed the government had turned the MSP into “maximum suffering of the producer” which proved that the BJP had “anti-farmer DNA”.
A day after the Union government announced the MSP for the Kharif crops for 2023-24, Mr. Surjewala claimed that the the MSP was not only far less than what the farmers should ideally get but the government made very limited purchases even on this meagre price.
He said the government had promised to fix the MSP of various crops after computing the input costs plus 50% profit following the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices but the actual support prices were way below this level.
“When there is no intention to procure crops on MSP, what is the purpose of announcing it,” asked Mr. Surjewala, adding “The Modi Cabinet pretends to announce MSP for Kharif crops. But, there are bitter truths related to this. Farmer’s crop is not bought at all on MSP in India, farmer does not get 50% profit on cost. Every policy and DNA of the Modi government is anti-farmer”.
In the last four years, the Modi government did not spend around ₹80,000 crore from the budget of the Agriculture Ministry and the names of two crore farmers were removed from the list of Kisan Samman Nidhi beneficiaries, he alleged. Under the “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi” (PM-KISAN) scheme, a financial benefit of ₹6,000 per year was provided to eligible farmer families, payable in three equal instalments of ₹2,000.
‘PR hungry govt.’
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge tweeted, “The Modi government had made two promises to the farmers of the country — fixing the MSP at cost plus 50% profit and doubling the income of farmers of the country by 2022. Both promises turned out to be false. The PR hungry Modi government, which is pretending to increase the MSP on Kharif crop does not buy crops on MSP at all. The budget for agriculture was cut”.
“Nine years of the Modi government has become a curse for 62 crore farmers of the country,” the Congress chief added.
“No cost plus 50 per cent profit. No buying at MSP. No double income. In nine years of the BJP government, what did the farmers get except ‘jumlas’ in elections, lathis on the back and kicks on the stomach,” asked Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Twitter.