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Center snatching MSP from farmers, Congress alleges | India News


NEW DELHI: Congress on Wednesday attacked the Narendra Modi government for its agricultural policy in Rajya Sabha, claiming that instead of doubling farmers’ incomes, it was trying to snatch the minimum subsistence price (MSP) from them.
Opening the debate on the finance bill in Rajya Sabha, Congressman Deepinder Singh Hooda questioned the government on its promise to double farmers’ incomes by 2022, claiming that instead of increasing the MSP of crops, he was trying to take it away.
Hooda said that in 2015-16, farmers’ incomes were estimated at Rs 8,000 per month, and by 2022 it should be around Rs 16,000 per month, but it appears to be dropping as input costs, especially diesel, have increased substantially.
“Farmers expected the promise of doubling their income to be fulfilled, but what has happened is that the farm budget has been reduced by 8.5 percent,” he said.
He further said: “You promised to double the farmers’ income. Instead of doubling the MSP fees, you are trying to take it away from the farmers. You have attacked the MSP and the farmers are now fighting to save it.”
The congressional deputy said that a farmer was getting an MSP of Rs 1,410 per quintal for rice in 2015-16, so it should be Rs 2,800 or Rs 3,000 now.
But the minimum price for rice paddy is just Rs 1,868 per quintal, he said, adding that the same is true for wheat.
“In these five years, they increased the MSP by 30 percent … If the price does not increase, how will the income increase?” He said, and stated that the price of diesel, an input in agriculture, increased by a 94 percent during the period.
The congressional deputy also said that due to the government’s economic policies, the economy had started to derail long before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said GDP growth fell to 3 percent from 8 percent in the eight quarters between March 2018 and March 2020.
He urged the government to accept the demands of farmers protesting against farm laws and “send them home happy,” warning that “making fun” of them would be costly for him.
Hooda also demanded that the government express its condolences for the “death of more than 300 farmers during its upheaval” and announce an economic package for their families along with job opportunities.
He also accused the government of pursuing incorrect economic policies that led to a decline in economic growth. He said it was farmers who saved the country and kept the economy alive during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I urge the government to listen to the farmers and show some compassion and sensitivity towards them and send them home happy after accepting their demands. The government should announce an economic package for the families of those who died during the protests and provide them with opportunities to job”. Send happy farmers home.
“I urge you with folded hands not to make fun of the farmers, as this would be very costly for you. Please allow the farmers to return home happy,” he said.
Hooda said farmers have been sitting in protest for more than four months and 300 farmers have died.
Hooda said that during the 10-year rule of the Congress-led UPA regime, average GDP growth was 7.8 percent, which fell to 6.8 percent in the first six years of the NDA rule. led by the BJP.
He said that there was a decrease in the growth rate of consumption, investment, exports and public spending during the NDA rule compared to the UPA regime. He cited data to back up his arguments.
Hooda also cited the views of economists such as Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan to suggest that the government was pursuing the wrong economic policies.
He said that the Indian economy declined at the fastest pace in the April-June quarter and that the country also witnessed the largest job loss of around 12 crore during the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, the gap between rich and poor widened even further. To back up his point, Hooda said that the incomes of the 100 richest people increased by 35 percent, while economic growth slowed. He also complained that the financial package announced by the government to deal with the impact of the pandemic was significantly low compared to other countries.
Hooda also criticized the government for high taxes on gasoline, diesel and LPG. He said that due to the high cost of LPG cylinders, the poor could not refill the cylinders.
(With contributions from the agency)

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