Adopt scientific approach to fixing MSP for all crops: Sukhbir Badal

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Chandigarh, June 20 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Badal on Thursday called for adopting a scientific approach towards fixing the minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, even as he asserted the marginal increase in the MSP for paddy by Rs 117 per quintal did not take into account the comprehensive cost plus 50 per cent profit as mandated by the Union government and the Swaminathan Commission.

He also noted that though the MSPs for both moong and maize had been increased, no mechanism was in place to procure these crops on MSP.

“Farmers in Punjab as well as elsewhere in the country have been left to the mercy of private players because the Union government is not procuring these crops from MSP. In case of Punjab, farmers bore huge losses after their sowed moong over a huge area following an appeal by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann the same would be procured on MSP, but the government reneged on its promise.”

Speaking about the manner in which the MSP for paddy had been increased, Badal said: “The entire process of calculation of the comprehensive cost (C-2), including the imputed cost of the land and its rent value should be put in public domain. Farmers rightly feel that they are being short-changed and that if the C-2 cost is not calculated accurately then they will not get the justified MSP as 50 per cent profit is to be calculated on the C-2 figure.”

He advocated that a committee be formed to calculate the C-2 plus 50 per cent profit figure for all 14 kharif costs and that this committee should include farmer representatives.

“If this committee is formed immediately and given a timeframe to submit its recommendations, then the MSP for all kharif crops can be revised appropriately,” he added.

Making a strong case for calculating the true cost of production accurately, Badal said: “Till this is not done the agriculture sector will continue to face an economic crisis and the Prime Minister’s stated objective of doubling farmer incomes by the end of this year will not be achieved.”



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