The All India Kisan Sabha has called the recent announcement of the Modi government of MSP on the kharif crop a ‘Historic Betrayal of Farmers’, pointing out that the riginal promise was related to a promised C2+50% and an assured procurement of the crop by government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP had generated high hopes and got the support of farmers in 2014 elections by promising that the Swaminathan commission recommendation of fixing MSP according to the formula C2+50%.
It has betrayed them yet again by announcing MSP for the Kharif crops based on A2+FL costs instead of the promised more comprehensive C2 costs. Also no steps have been taken to ensure assured procurement. Without assured procurement any such announcement is only notional and will not accrue to the cultivating peasantry.
The BJP Government’s tall claims that the decision on Kharif MSP is “historic” falls flat when one compares with the actual promise and the gap between A2+FL and C2 costs. It actually is a historic betrayal of the promise made to farmers of fixing MSP at a level of at least 150 percent of the C2 cost of production.
||Difference Between C2+50 & MSP
|CACP Costs for 2018-19|
- The above table clearly shows that if the promised C2+50% formula was used for calculating MSP it should have been much higher.
- It also has to be noted that there is huge disparity in cost calculation by Central agencies and States. Centrally determined costs are much lower than the costs determined by the State Agricultural departments. Both of these fall below farmers’ actual costs.
- The MSP recommended by State Governments (including BJP ruled States) based on their cost calculations are much higher than MSP announced.
- Public procurement is mainly taking place only in few crops like paddy and wheat and that too is below 20 percent of the total production. In most other crops there is no procurement in most States.
Costs of certain crops and recommendations by the States will bring out starkly the betrayal by the Narendra Modi led BJP Government.
For the Paddy crop, the State projection of cost of production for 2017-18 by Andhra Pradesh was Rs.1866/Qtl while the CACP projection for the State was merely Rs.1495/Qtl. Andhra Pradesh had proposed Rs.2799/Qtl.
Notably the BJP ruled States of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh had proposed MSP of Rs.3251/Qtl, Rs.2,200/Qtl and Rs.2,700/Qtl respectively for paddy in 2017-18. Other major paddy growing States like Tamilnadu and Punjab had recommended MSP of Rs.2300/Qtl and Rs.2000/Qtl for 2017-18.
A full one year after that the BJP Government has announced Rs.1750/Qtl. The LDF Government in Kerala is already procuring at Rs.2350/Qtl. Due to the absence of public procurement farmers in most States are forced to sell at distress prices ranging from Rs.800/Qtl to Rs.1200/Qtl even when MSP was Rs.1550/Qtl.
BJP ruled Gujarat had proposed Rs.6500/Qtl for groundnut last year while the MSP announced by the centre was a mere Rs.4890/Qtl. Farmers were expecting a huge hike in pulses as an incentive for producing more to meet the country’s needs and also for naturally fixing nitrogen to the tune of about Rs.4000/hectare.
For Arhar/Tur, the cost of production determined by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were Rs.5984/Qtl amd Rs.7123/Qtl while the CACP projections were way below at Rs.5683/Qtl only for both the States. Farmers are forced to sell at rates ranging between Rs.3400/Qtl to Rs.4,200/Qtl only which is below the then MSP of Rs.5450/Qtl, while this BJP Government is assuring MSP to farmers in Mozambique. Same trend continues for Moong and Urad.
Karnataka which is a major producer of Arhar/Tur had suggested an MSP of Rs.7000/Qtl while the MSP announced is only Rs.5675/Qtl which is way below the cost of production in the major Arhar/Tur growing States. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh had suggested Rs.4800/Qtl and Rs.4000/Qtl for soyabean while the MSP announced is only Rs.3399/Qtl.
For cotton the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governments cost projection for 2017-18 was Rs.5042/Qtl and Rs.5337/Qtl while CACP projection was only Rs.4625/Qtl. They had proposed MSP of Rs.7564/Qtl and Rs.8005/Qtl respectively and BJP ruled Maharashtra had proposed Rs.7204/Qtl while the MSP announced is only Rs.5150/Qtl.
Illusion of Bounty
Clearly, on looking into the costs of production projected by the States and the Centre, MSP proposed by States and the MSP announced we can understand that the BJP Government led by Narendra Modi is seeking to create an illusion of bounty while they actually are actually pegging farmers’ costs way below the actual and the MSP announced is actually a betrayal of what had been promised.
Four years of the BJP Government has passed without doing anything for farmers and they are now seeking to hoodwink farmers by making an aggressive campaign on the eve of impending elections. AIKS condemns this callous attitude of the BJP Government that exposes its utter failure and calls for revision of MSP according to the Swaminathan Commission recommendations and for ensuring assured procurement. AIKS has chalked out mass campaign, Jail Bharo on 9thAugust and massive Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally on 5thSeptember. We call upon all democratic organisations and individuals interested in farmers’ welfare to join in much greater numbers in these protests against the betrayal by the BJP Government.
(The press release has been issued by Ashok Dhawale and Hannan Mollah, President and General Secretary of the AIKS)