Bhubaneswar: The state government Tuesday demanded early fixation of the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy while targeting the Centre for the delay.
Speaking to the media here at the Secretariat, Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Pradip Maharathy said, “Although nearly two months have passed since we wrote to the Union Agriculture Minister on fixing the MSP for various crops including paddy, the Centre is yet to declare the MSP for paddy.”
Describing the Union government as anti-farmer, Maharathy said, “Prime Minister Nrendra Modi is shedding crocodile tears on farmers.” The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had promised to hike MSP on paddy by 150 per cent of the production cost.
The Minister also revealed that the Commission on Agricultural Coast and Production (CACP), the nodal agency that recommends MSP of various crops to Centre, has already rejected the state Assembly’s unanimous resolution demanding MSP of `2930 per quintal for Common Grade paddy and `2970 for Grade-A paddy.
Rejecting the state’s demand, the CACP has recommended to the Centre to fix `1745 as MSP for paddy for Common Grade and `1770 for Grade-A. Objecting to the recommendation of CACP, the state Agriculture secretary Sourabh Garg has written to the Union Agriculture secretary, official sources said.
The state government had fixed the production cost of paddy at `2,344 per quintal, higher than the Centre’s proposed rate. The Centre has not analysed the inputs cost properly before arriving at the production cost of paddy. They are not considering every aspect of production cost, they said.
The state government has also demanded of the Centre to take the financial burden of other crops like pulses, oilseed, coarse grains and all other rain-fed crops. At present, the Centre is ensuring the MSP for paddy and wheat crops only. The Centre was also urged to adopt same mechanism it has followed for fixation of MSP for paddy and wheat, they said.
Congress too criticised the Centre on this issue. “By not announcing MSP for paddy, the Centre is neglecting our framers. It has also proved that the Centre is just making false promises to the farmers.”
However, BJP legislator Pradip Purohit said, “Consultation with state governments on fixation of MSP has been completed. Some states have submitted their recommendations while some others are delaying. Very soon, the MSP will be fixed as per the promise made by our PM.”