Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Partap Singh Bajwa on Thursday criticised the 'negligible' Rs. 50 hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, announced by the Narendra Modi government.
Bajwa said it was a cruel joke with the farmers and yet another indication of the worst that was in store for the people at the hands of the government that had come to power by selling the illusion of "achhe din".
He said the hike was unacceptable and deserved to be rejected. During his tour of the Bathinda constituency, Bajwa recalled that the UPA government had effected a 'massive' hike of Rs. 270 per quintal (from Rs. 1,080 to Rs. 1,250) in 2012. Last year, the increase was at the rate of Rs. 60 per quintal.
Bajwa pointed out that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal Badal had promised in the Shiromani Akali Dal's manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections that farmers would get MSP on the basis of the formula recommended by the Swaminathan Committee, which ensured at least 50% profit to farmers over and above the cost of production. "It seems that Badal has forgotten his own promise," said Bajwa.
Meanwhile, state Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the 'meagre' hike was in contradiction to Narendra Modi's pre-election promise of linking the MSP with the price index in order to improve the country's agrarian economy.
BJP had shown SAD its place: Manpreet
Bathinda: People's Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal on Thursday condemned the 'meagre' hike of Rs. 50 per quintal in the paddy MSP, saying that the ruling BJP at the Centre had shown the Shiromani Akali Dal its place by ignoring the party on such a crucial issue.
In a statement, Manpreet said this hike would not cover even the increase in the cost of production during the past year as there was no control over the prices of inputs. "It is a cruel joke played upon the beleaguered farmers and the worst-affected would be paddy-growing states such as Punjab and Haryana," he added.