Local parliamentarian Capt Amarinder Singh, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, on Thursday asked the state government to pay farmers Rs. 150 per quintal bonus on the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, as Rs. 50 wouldn't compensate them for the increase in the input cost.
At a press conference here, Amarinder referred to the below-par monsoon predicted this year. "If forced to use own system of irrigation, farmers will accrue extra cost.
The state government declared Rs. 150-per-quintal paddy bonus when I was chief minister," he said.
"The average cumulative increase in the MSP for paddy and wheat during the last Congress regime at the Centre was about Rs. 70 a year, as opposed to `11 when the Bharatitya Janata Party ruled the country between 1998 and 2004," Amarinder said in reply to a question, adding that the benefit had been raised at times by Rs. 150 per quintal.
"The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) increased the MSP of wheat by Rs. 710 and the MSP of paddy by Rs. 750 in 10 years, while in the six NDA (National Democratic Alliance) years, the figures got up by just Rs. 80 and Rs. 70, respectively."