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Press Statement issued by BJP National Spokesperson,
Captain Abhimanyu

Review, revise MSP on paddy immediately: Captain Abhimanyu 
Rs 60 hike in MSP over last year is too meager to address farmers’ needs
At estimated expense of Rs 1400 per quintal, farmers to lose a staggering Rs 9000 cr

New Delhi: Bhartiya Janata Party has urged the Central Government to urgently review its decision to hike Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Paddy by a meager Rs 60 per quintal, an amount which can’t even buy a litre of petrol.

The Central Government had on Friday (June 28) announced new MSPs for 14 agricultural items including paddy for 2013-14 crop year (July-June). The MSP for paddy was hiked from Rs 1250 per quintal to Rs 1310.

BJP National Spokesperson Captain Abhimanyu said, “At current prices, farmers spend an average of Rs 1400 per quintal and at the new MSP they would lose Rs 90 per quintal. Our farmers produce about 100 cr quintal of paddy and with this estimation they would collectively lose a staggering Rs 9000 cr.”

Captain Abhimanyu added, “This is nothing less than cheating with farmers and we oppose this move by the Government.” The party said that even with the current rate of inflation the hike should have been of at least 14% as against about 5% now. The government has given 7% dearness allowance to government employees twice in last one year and by that standard the hike should have been of at least Rs 175. “On the one hand the Government is proposing to spend Rs 1.3 lakh cr towards subsidy  for the Food Security programme while with farmers they are being miser and dishonest,” the BJP spokesperson added.

“The government should consider the fact that the inputs costs have gone up substantially and farming is no longer remunerative for large number of farmers. Such miser steps give no solace to our paddy farmers who are already strained by a host of on-field and extraneous challenges including climatic uncertainties, dwindling labour force and rising input costs,” added Captain Abhimanyu.

Our farm productivity is amongst the lowest in the world. Our trade is negligible – we are 2nd largest producer of food yet we rank 20th in terms of food trade,” Captain added.

Captain Abhimanyu further expressed concern at the dwindling workforce in agriculture, also small and marginal farmers find their existence under threat due to declining margins. Add to this structural flaws including lack of storage, transportation and access to right markets, we are staring at aggravating the crisis in agriculture, which can lend to a food security crisis in future.

He added that government should be more sensitive to the needs of farmers at this juncture and should refrain from any lip service like being done with MSP of paddy.

“BJP demands that the Government immediately reviews its decision on MSP for paddy and hike it substantially to make paddy cultivation at least sustainable if not profitable to million of our farmers,” Captain Abhimanyu added.

The BJP also objected to the very marginal hike in the MSP by only Rs 100 in case of cotton crop. “We demand that MSP for cotton be Rs 4200 and Rs 4500 (long variety) instead of the current Rs 3700 and Rs 4000 respectively. Government must also consider hiking the MSP for barley and corn and take it to the level of the price fixed for sorghum at Rs 1500 per quintal.”

BJP reiterates its demand of immediate implementation of Swaminathan Commission Report, where by the farmers would get remunerative price for its crops to the extent of 150% of the cost on each crop instead of the current method of MInimum support price.

The BJP said that the government should immediately reconsider its demands else Bhartiya Janta Party will raise the issue nationally and fight for the right of farmers.

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