Chandigarh, June 2, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state unit president and Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Mann has castigated the Narendra Modi government’s decision to marginally increase the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and other ‘kharif crops’, terming it as a cruel joke on the farmers across the country, including Punjab.
In a statement issued from party headquarters in Chandigarh here on Tuesday, Bhagwant Mann said that the Modi government at the centre had been peddling lies about the 50 per cent benefit on the total expenditure incurred by farmers on the crop based on the Swaminathan’s recommendations, which he claimed a complete turnaround by the government.
Mann said that Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar, while announcing the new MSP prices, had claimed that the new MSP would secure 50 to 83 per cent more the cost of the crop, which was nothing but a white lie, saying that Narendra Tomar had no moral right to remain the Agriculture Minister for the lies he had peddled across the country and community.
Taking the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister upfront, Bhagwant Mann said: “It is unfortunate for the country and the community that insensitive leaders like them were out there to determining the future of the peasantry who feeds the country as a whole. They should shun showing the communities small mercies by giving them false hopes and take them for a ride”
The AAP MP, challenging the Badal family, an alliance partners in the Modi government at the centre, said: “They (The Badals) should come out in the open and endorse the announcement of a raise of Rs 53 per quintal in paddy prices by the Center to give a sense that the farmers would, surely than not, get 50 to 83 per cent more on their cost of the crop.
Mann said the price of paddy had been raised by just 3 per cent compared to the prices in the previous year, adding that had Bibi Harsimrat Kaur Badal been a tad sensitised about the plight of the debt-ridden farmer of Punjab, won’t have allowed the ministry to play a cruel joke on the farmers, even if she that would have cost her ministerial berth.
Bhagwant Mann claimed that experts from Punjab had sent a recommendation of Rs. 2902 per quintal to the Center on the basis of total cost incurred. Even as the price of paddy this season was fixed at Rs. 1665 per quintal as per C-2 set up by the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), saying that if the Modi government had given 50 per cent profit to farmers on the actual cost (as per the Swaminathan’s formula), the community would have heaved a sigh of relief.
However, on the contrary, the new paddy price had been fixed at Rs 2,497 per quintal, while the price was Rs 1,868 only, which would not even meet the enhanced labor cost (around Rs 300 per quintal), thereby deepening the crisis.
Bhagwant Mann said that if the Modi government had been a tad too sensitive and far-sighted for the cause of the farmers, it would have increased crop prices as per the Swaminathan’s recommendations to keep the agriculture sector strong, as the Indian economy primarily depended on agriculture.
Bhagwant Mann, out-rightly rejecting the marginal raise in MSP, said that while inflation was hitting the roof, the reduction in sugar subsidy, blind VAT (tax) on petrol and diesel being levied by the Center and state governments, the labour crisis amid corona virus pandemic, was set to spell more troubles for the farming community given the nominal rise in the prices of crops.