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Politics Farm and Forest

Government still not inclined to give legal guarantee for MSP?

Farmers’ groups have been demanding MSP based on the C2+50 formula

Sabrangindia 26 Jul 2022

MSPImage: ANI

The government has clarified that the committee set up to look into matters pertaining to Minimum Support Price (MSP) in wake of the year long farmers’ agitation, is not looking to offer any legal guarantee for MSP.

Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Ram Nath Thakur had asked, “Whether Government had assured the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in December, 2021 that a Committee would be constituted to provide legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers,” and “details thereof”.

In a formal written submission before the Parliament, Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, has stated, “No, Sir. The Government had assured the formation of a Committee to make MSP more effective and transparent, to promote natural farming and to change crop pattern keeping in mind the changing needs of the country.”

It is noteworthy that though farmers’ organisations such as SKM had been categorically demanding that MSP be calculated as per the C2+50 formula proposed by the Swaminathan commission, the government has not taken this formula into consideration. Instead, the minister submitted, “Government has increased MSPs for all mandated Kharif, Rabi and other Commercial crops with a minimum return of 50 percent over all India weighted average cost of production from year 2018-19 onwards.”

The entire answer may be read here: 

Framers’ concerns about MSP

SabrangIndia had reported previously that in June, farmers’ groups had condemned the Centre’s recommended MSP for Kharif 2022-23 crops, which came to an increase of less than a 10 percent. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices’ (CACP) report had recommended a meagre five percent increase for paddy crops! As per the report, while MSP for the groundnut crop was increased by only five percent, it was increased by eight percent for Jowar, and 8.9 percent for the yellow soybean crop.

At that time, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) had pointed out how cost of production has increased sharply due to high prices of fuel and other inputs, massive shortages and increase in the prices of fertilizers.

“Even in the last season, black marketing of fertilizers was rampant because of shortages of supply. The situation has turned worse in the recent months because of sanctions by the US and EU against Belarus and Russia,” AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah had explained.

In fact, the Jai Kisan Andolan had found that the MSP of 11 out of 14 crops to be reduced in real terms. According to JKA Founder Yogendra Yadav, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy committee on June 8, 2022 had forecast a 6.7 percent inflation in FY-23. In terms of input cost for farmers, increase in diesel and fertilizer prices worsens the impact of inflation on peasants.

“If the inflation in input cost for farmers is compared to the MSP declared by the government, then it is clear that for 11 out of 14 crops, the increase in MSP is less than the cost inflation. Thus, in real terms, the MSP has been reduced for 11 crops,” said Yadav.

GoI’s MSP Committee

The government constituted its MSP Committee on July 18, under the chairmanship of former Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agrawal. Other members of the 29-member panel include NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand, agriculture economists CSC Shekhar and Sukhpal Singh and Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices member Naveen P Singh. It also includes members of different farmers’ groups.

The Committee was summarily panned by various farmers’ organisations. The SKM has rejected the committee saying "so-called farmer leaders" who supported the now-repealed farm laws are its members. NDTV quoted Bhartiya Kisan Union-Dakaunda (BKU-D) leader Manjit Singh Dhaner as saying, “Only a formality has been done by forming this committee.”    

Related:

Farmers demand answers: What happened to written promises?

Farmers reject Centre’s committed MSP prices

Government still not inclined to give legal guarantee for MSP?

Farmers’ groups have been demanding MSP based on the C2+50 formula

MSPImage: ANI

The government has clarified that the committee set up to look into matters pertaining to Minimum Support Price (MSP) in wake of the year long farmers’ agitation, is not looking to offer any legal guarantee for MSP.

Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Ram Nath Thakur had asked, “Whether Government had assured the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) in December, 2021 that a Committee would be constituted to provide legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers,” and “details thereof”.

In a formal written submission before the Parliament, Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, has stated, “No, Sir. The Government had assured the formation of a Committee to make MSP more effective and transparent, to promote natural farming and to change crop pattern keeping in mind the changing needs of the country.”

It is noteworthy that though farmers’ organisations such as SKM had been categorically demanding that MSP be calculated as per the C2+50 formula proposed by the Swaminathan commission, the government has not taken this formula into consideration. Instead, the minister submitted, “Government has increased MSPs for all mandated Kharif, Rabi and other Commercial crops with a minimum return of 50 percent over all India weighted average cost of production from year 2018-19 onwards.”

The entire answer may be read here: 

Framers’ concerns about MSP

SabrangIndia had reported previously that in June, farmers’ groups had condemned the Centre’s recommended MSP for Kharif 2022-23 crops, which came to an increase of less than a 10 percent. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices’ (CACP) report had recommended a meagre five percent increase for paddy crops! As per the report, while MSP for the groundnut crop was increased by only five percent, it was increased by eight percent for Jowar, and 8.9 percent for the yellow soybean crop.

At that time, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) had pointed out how cost of production has increased sharply due to high prices of fuel and other inputs, massive shortages and increase in the prices of fertilizers.

“Even in the last season, black marketing of fertilizers was rampant because of shortages of supply. The situation has turned worse in the recent months because of sanctions by the US and EU against Belarus and Russia,” AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah had explained.

In fact, the Jai Kisan Andolan had found that the MSP of 11 out of 14 crops to be reduced in real terms. According to JKA Founder Yogendra Yadav, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy committee on June 8, 2022 had forecast a 6.7 percent inflation in FY-23. In terms of input cost for farmers, increase in diesel and fertilizer prices worsens the impact of inflation on peasants.

“If the inflation in input cost for farmers is compared to the MSP declared by the government, then it is clear that for 11 out of 14 crops, the increase in MSP is less than the cost inflation. Thus, in real terms, the MSP has been reduced for 11 crops,” said Yadav.

GoI’s MSP Committee

The government constituted its MSP Committee on July 18, under the chairmanship of former Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agrawal. Other members of the 29-member panel include NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand, agriculture economists CSC Shekhar and Sukhpal Singh and Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices member Naveen P Singh. It also includes members of different farmers’ groups.

The Committee was summarily panned by various farmers’ organisations. The SKM has rejected the committee saying "so-called farmer leaders" who supported the now-repealed farm laws are its members. NDTV quoted Bhartiya Kisan Union-Dakaunda (BKU-D) leader Manjit Singh Dhaner as saying, “Only a formality has been done by forming this committee.”    

Related:

Farmers demand answers: What happened to written promises?

Farmers reject Centre’s committed MSP prices

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