Support prices should factor in inflation: SKM

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 08, 2021

BKU Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait with farmers during their sit-in protest in Karnal   -  PTI

Protests in Karnal continue

Commenting on the minimum support price for rabi crops, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said here on Wednesday that the Centre has actually reduced the MSP of rabi crops in real terms. The umbrella organisation of protesting farmers also argued that the MSP is not significant when the inflation and the increase in input costs are taken into consideration.

While the retail inflation stands at six per cent, the MSP of wheat has been increased by just 2 per cent and chana (gram) by 2.5 per cent, the SKM said. “The new MSP of ₹2,015 for wheat for RMS 2022-23 is equivalent to ₹1,901 when adjusted for inflation, which is ₹74 less than ₹1,975 declared for the wheat for RMS 2021-22. Similarly, the MSP of gram has been reduced from ₹5,100 to ₹4,934 in real terms. On one hand, the farmers are facing the brunt of increased prices of diesel, petrol, agricultural inputs and their daily necessities, and on the other hand, they are becoming poorer as their income is getting reduced,” the SKM said in a statement.

Cost of production

The SKM alleged that the Centre is misusing the term “comprehensive costs” which has always been used to refer to the C2 Cost of Production. “As pointed out by Farm Unions since 2018, the government is blatantly deceiving the farmers and the nation by using a lower cost measure (A2+FL) and claiming that it is providing MSP of 50 per cent above the comprehensive cost. For example, in 2021-22, the comprehensive cost of production (C2) for wheat was ₹1,467 which is 50 per cent higher than the lower cost of ₹960 used by the government. Once again, the farmers of India reject the government’s play with numbers and demand real remunerative prices not imaginary profits,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, farmers, led by SKM, continued the indefinite protests at Karnal Mini Secretariat demanding action against former SDM Ayush Sinha. The talks between the farmers and the administration and the Police failed yet again as the SKM said action against Sinha is a prerequisite to continue the dialogues. The farmers warned that they will spread the protests to all district centres if their demands are not met.

“Farmers stand determined to get justice for the murder of Sushil Kajal (the farmer who died after a lathicharge in Karnal on August 28). Unless, SDM Ayush Sinha is suspended and compensation is paid, the gherao will continue,” SKM said in a statement.

Published on September 08, 2021

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