‘Mere tokenism’: Punjab CM Capt Amarinder dubs MSP hike by Centre as inadequate
In a statement, the chief minister said the increase in MSP of wheat and pulses will not help achieve the objective of boosting output of these crops and checking prices.punjab Updated: Oct 25, 2017 10:04 IST
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh today termed the increase in MSP announced by the Centre as “inadequate” and demanded a review in line with the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
In a statement here, the chief minister said the increase of Rs 110 a quintal in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat and Rs 200 per quintal in that of pulses would not help achieve the objective of boosting the output of these crops and checking prices.
The move would also not, in any way, provide much relief to the distressed farmers of the country who are reeling under huge debt burdens and struggling to make both ends meet, he added.
The chief minister said if the Centre was serious about uplifting the agriculture sector and alleviating the woes of the farmers, it would need to go beyond such tokenism to announce far-reaching changes in the MSP and other welfare initiatives, including debt waiver, in the interest of the farming community.
The Punjab CM said if the Centre was serious about uplifting the agriculture sector and alleviating the woes of the farmers, it would need to announce far-reaching changes in the MSP.
The Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations on MSP need to be implemented urgently, in toto, if the country’s agricultural system has to survive and prosper, the chief minister said.
Citing the Swaminathan Commission report, he said the only long-term solution to the crisis faced by the farming community lay in giving attractive remuneration to the farmers through pricing and procurement based on total cost of production plus 50 per cent, as recommended by the Commission.
The Centre, by continuing to ignore the suggestions of the commission, was worsening the situation instead of finding solutions, he warned.
Singh urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and order a review of the MSP to ensure a proper remunerative pricing policy for the farmers, as per the commission’s report. He also requested the prime minister to take cognisance of the demand of the Punjab government for incorporation of stubble burning compensation at Rs 100 per quintal in the MSP for paddy.
The central and state governments need to collaborate to resolve the agrarian crisis in the country, said the chief minister, adding that it was their joint responsibility to protect the interests of the farmers, who were responsible for feeding nation.