Dejected, farmers trash ‘meagre’ MSP hike - ECAS Punjab

Dejected, farmers trash ‘meagre’ MSP hike

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Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Bathinda, Sept 22

As many as 22 farmer organisations have expressed their disappointment over the "meagre" hike of Rs 50 per quintal in minimum support price (MSP) of wheat and rabi crops announced by the Central Government. The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has rejected the hike, terming it a cruel joke on the farmers.

Anticipating a financial bailout from the government, farmers said they had been let down by the paltry increment as the agricultural sector grappled with high input cost and other issues. They said the government's move fell short of the MS Swaminathan Commission's recommendation of the hike in MSP by 50 per cent more than the weighted cost of production.

'Don't rub salt into our wounds'

At a time when farmers are angry over the agri Bills, a meagre hike in MSP of wheat is like rubbing salt into the wounds of the already financially stressed farmers. — Harmeet Singh Kadian, BKU (Kadian) chief

Farmers said they felt cheated and insulted by various governments over the issue of the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report. Shingara Singh Mann, state secretary of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), reminded the BJP of its poll promise of fixing the MSP as per the Swaminathan commission report.

He said the government had 'failed' to calculate the input cost of wheat cultivation and other expenses while tabulating the MSP.

BKU (Sidhupur) district president Baldev Singh Sandoha said: "The government claims to double the farmer's income by 2022. How would it do so when the MSP increase is not even 10 per cent? The government has once again showed its anti-farmer face."

"The MSP of cotton has been fixed by the government at Rs 5,710 per quintal, but farmers are forced to sell their crop to private buyers at Rs 4,500, as the CCI hasn't yet started purchasing the crop," he added. Gurmeet Singh, a farmer, said: "The hike in MSP rise should correspond to the inflation rate."

BKU (Kadian) president Harmeet Singh Kadian said: "At a time when farmers were angry over the farm Bills, a meagre hike in MSP of wheat is like rubbing salt into the wounds of the financially stressed farmers." He said the MSP of wheat ought to be Rs 3,250 per quintal based on increase in the cost of inputs and cultivation.

Meanwhile, senior SAD leader Maheshinder Singh Grewal announced that the party cadres would join the 'rail roko' and traffic blockade protest on September 25.

from The Tribune

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