New Delhi: Reacting sharply to Biju Janata Dal’s protest rally demanding enhancement of minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to Rs 2,950 per quintal, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the state government’s negligence towards farmers was forcing them to sell paddy at Rs 1,100 per quintal.
The Union Minister said that agriculture is a state subject, but the Odisha government has not opened mandis for procurement of paddy in the state. According to him, the Union government has increased the MSP of paddy from Rs 1,550 to Rs 1,750 per quintal last year.
“The ruling party in the state is in nexus with the mill owners. They have not opened mandis yet and this is forcing the farmers to sell paddy at Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,200 per quintal to traders. In a bid to shift the responsibility, Chief Minister has staged a demonstration in New Delhi. But he cannot run away from his responsibility,” Pradhan said.
Pradhan further said that the Odisha Chief Minister should answer why mandis are not opened and why paddy is not being procured at Rs 1,750 per quintal in the state?
“Three years ago, Naveen Patnaik had promised to provide a bonus of Rs 100 above the MSP for paddy to the farmers. but is yet to fulfill it,” Pradhan added.