New Delhi: The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has come out scathingly against the much-touted increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for 14 Kharif crops by the Central government. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the increase in MSP for Marketing Season 2022-23 on June 8.
A presser released by the AIKS noted that “It is important to note that these paltry increases in MSP have been made when cost of production has increased sharply for farmers because of high prices of fuel and other inputs, and massive shortages and price rise in supply of fertilisers. Even in the last season, black marketing of fertilisers was rampant because of shortages of supply. The situation has turned worse in the recent months because of sanctions by US and EU against Belarus and Russia.”
“In the MSP announced for Kharif 2022-23, MSP for rice, maize, tur, urad and groundnut has been increased by just 7 per cent, and for Bajra by just 8 per cent. In most crops, the increases barely cover the general inflation in the economy,” they added.
MSP increase has become an annual news affair for a long time now. On this, AIKS commented that “Once again, the government has made misleading claims about the return over cost of production promised through MSP. Government has made gross under-estimation of cost of production for Kharif 2022-23. And, as it has been doing in recent years, instead of computing return over total cost (C2), the return is computed over A2+FL cost, which excludes the cost of the farmer’s own resources. This is a fraud done with farmers as the MSP does not even fully cover the total cost of production.”
The statement, undersigned by Hannan Mollah, general secretary, and Dr Ashok Dhawale, national president, demanded that the formula of the Swaminathan Commission of C2+50% be implemented in earnest so that the government could make a realistic estimate of the total cost of production and ensure that farmers were paid a 50% return over their costs.
Further, AIKS has also asked its state units across the country to hold demonstrations against the “paltry” increase in MSP. “AIKS calls upon farmers across the country to protest against the fraud in MSP being committed by the Modi government and rally once again unitedly to demand a statutory right to remunerative MSP for their crops,” the presser stated.
Sumit Kumar, secretary of the Haryana unit of AIKS, told The Tribune that it was highly uncalled for that the Centre was readily spending huge money on the import of edible oils on the one hand and not giving enough procurement prices for the oilseed crops of its own farmers.