BJP govt misleading farmers, says Sonia Gandhi
In a statement, Gandhi hit out at the central government for not fulfilling its promise of giving a 50% return on their input costs to farmers and urged the government to follow “rajdharma” and protect farmers’ interests.Updated: Oct 27, 2019 10:14 IST
The Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government of reneging on its promise of ensuring that farmers earn a 50% return on their cost of cultivation and of only helping a middlemen and hoarders.
In a statement, Gandhi hit out at the central government for not fulfilling its promise of giving a 50% return on their input costs to famers and urged the government to follow “rajdharma” and protect farmers’ interests.
In 2018, the Union cabinet had approved a hike in the federally fixed minimum support price (MSP) for crops, giving farmers the promised 50% return on input costs.Accusing the government of forcing the farmers to observe a “black Diwali” this year, she said the MSP for kharif crops was too low and farm commodities were selling at prices between 8% and 37% lower than MSP in most mandis (agricultural markets).
The sale of Kharif crops is on an average at a price less than 22.5% of the MSP, the statement said. The Congress chief asked why farmers engaged in growing pulses, oilseeds and grains were not getting adequate remuneration for their crops.
“For the year 2019-20, the total Kharif production is expected to be 140.57 million tonnes; they way crops are being sold in mandis nearly 22.5% lower than the MSP, indicates that farmers are expected to face a loss of nearly ~50,000 crore. Who will compensate for this?” the statement said.
The Congress alleged that by imposing GST on fertilizers, farm equipment and pesticides and not paying requisite MSP for farm commodities, the government dealt a double blow to farmers.
“The Congress demands that this double exploitation of the country’s farmers should be stopped and they get adequate cost for his hard work and labour. This would be the government’s real ‘rajdharma’,” the Congress chief said in the statement.
BJP spokespersons did not respond to the statement.