‘Our MSP does more for the farmer than that of UPA govt’

Mamuni Das |K. R. Srivats | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021
Way forward Union Minister Piyush Goyal addressing the BusinessLine Post-Budget Talk, in New Delhi on Monday

Way forward Union Minister Piyush Goyal addressing the BusinessLine Post-Budget Talk, in New Delhi on Monday

Minimum Support Price should be seen against the background of inflation, says Union Minister Piyush Goyal

KR Srivats/Mamuni Das The BJP-led government has given farmers a better Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism than the erstwhile UPA regime had, if one factors in the inflation effect in the two respective periods, Piyush Goyal, Union Railways and Coal Minister, said on Monday.

At the Post-Budget Talk hosted by BusinessLine and Sastra Deemed University powered by FICCI, Goyal said: “Our MSP increase is more valuable to a farmer than the UPA one. It is not the nominal increase in MSP, but the effective increase that is important.”

Listing out the farmer-friendly measures taken by the Narendra Modi government since it assumed office in May 2014, Goyal recalled that the country was buffeted by double-digit inflation during the UPA regime when the MSP, by some measure, increased 100 per cent in nominal terms.

But “the 100 per cent MSP increase was eaten up by double-digit inflation and, therefore, was of no real value to farmers, said Goyal.

“Whereas our 5 per cent increase in MSP has come when inflation has ranged between 2 and 4 per cent, which has provided an effective increase and given value to farmers.”

Focus on farmer

Replying to BusinessLine Editor R Srinivasan’s query on how the Budget had dealt with the challenges and seized the opportunities, Goyal said that relieving agrarian distress was high on the agenda of both Budget 2018 and the Modi government.

“Our entire focus, including the aspect of increasing MSP and introducing Ayushman Bharat (health-for-all scheme), was on providing benefits to the farming community,” he said.


By mandating neem coating of urea, the Centre has ensured that urea is available at fair price to farmers, he added. The government had, even in its first year in office, ensured that seeds are available at fair prices to the farming community, he said.

The Centre may rope in the hospitals run by the Railways and coal power plants located in remote locations as part of its Ayushman Bharat scheme.

The ambitious target under the scheme is not impossible to achieve, said Goyal. The Centre has held talks with Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Hridayalaya on how to bring down healthcare costs, he added. Dr Shetty has executed low-cost healthcare models in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka using economies of scale.

Healthcare for all

Goyal further said the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) can treat 100 million additional people, as all patients are not sick at the same time. Indicating that Railway hospitals will be thrown open to non-Railway individuals, the Minister said there are 300 such hospitals across the country, many in remote locations.

If they have any issues with non-Railway people using the services, current users of the hospitals can raise them and have them addressed, he said.

Published on February 12, 2018
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