Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal on Thursday rejected the Rs 50 increase in the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat, demanding that the hike be enhanced by Rs 150 per quintal.
"The Rs 50 hike is not commensurate with the increase in cost of inputs and should be revised forthwith to protect the interests of the farming community," he said in a statement here.
"The SAD urges that the MSP of wheat be enhanced by at least Rs 150 per quintal to take into account the input costs of farmers as well as the recommendations of the Dr MS Swaminathan Commission," the SAD president stated.
"Since the erstwhile UPA government refused to adequately increase the MSP of wheat and paddy despite the steep increase in inputs, it is now our responsibility to bring about parity in this regard," he said.
The deputy chief minister said the SAD had always maintained that the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission should be taken into consideration while finalising the MSP for foodgrains. "The Swaminathan Commission calls for giving 50% profit on inputs to farmers and this should be put into practice," he added.
In a separate statement here, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal stated that the Modi government had already initiated efforts to improve the scenario of farmers suffering "due to the anti-farmers policies of the previous Congress-led UPA regime.
Talking to reporters in Bathinda, Badal said both the SAD and the BJP had been votaries of the Swaminathan formula and it was high time the Centre implemented it in the larger interests of farmers. Badal said the MSP of wheat announced by the Centre was too low and urged the Centre to review it.