'Agricultural pricing panel needs to be scrapped' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Agricultural pricing panel needs to be scrapped'

india Updated: Dec 13, 2011 02:21 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times
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The BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Monday demanded scrapping of the Agricultural Prices Commission and the State Agricultural Prices Committee saying that the present mechanism is inhuman and detrimental to the farmers’ interests. “It should be scrapped and a new commission be constituted to operate on ground realities,” he said.

Gadkari, who is a member of the Upper House, alleged that these bodies adopt ambiguous measures to decide on the minimum guarantee price of agricultural produce, which is often not in accordance with the prevailing ground realities.

“When the prevailing rate of raw cotton was over Rs6,500 in the state last year, how the commission could recommend a meagre minimum support price of Rs3,300 for raw cotton?” he asked.

According to the BJP chief, the commission and the state committee takes the figure of 5-10 years of the market while fixing the rate when the agro-input costs, including seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, have drastically increased.

Citing example of the government employees where the dearness allowance is fixed as per the prevailing GDP, he proposed a similar mechanism to decide the MGP. The cost of production of any farm produce is never taken into consideration and so there is a huge gap, he said.

The government’s existing policy and lack of support has worsened the agrarian crisis and forced farmers to commit suicide, he added. Criticising the government’s export policy, he said, “The government bans cotton export when the international rate is high. Is it a pro-farmer policy?”