New Delhi, Nov 1 (UNI) Condemning the UPA government for denying Rs 1000 as minimum support price for paddy, the BJP today lashed out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying it seems that the economist prime minister had forgotten economics.
Terming 'ridiculous' the government contention that it would lead to price rise, the party said the Prime Minister knew well that the argument was far from the truth and also full of fallacies.
Talking to newspersons, party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said it was ridiculous on the part of the government to deny the MSP to the paddy growers. It was total injustice to these poor farmers on one hand and on the other hand the government was hurting the food security of the nation in future, due to its shortsightedness.
He asked the government if it could fix Rs 1000 the MSP for wheat, why was it not doing so for paddy. "Today, the market price of rice is proportionately much more than wheat,though paddy's MSP is less than wheat. This is primarily because the demand supply position had become precarious as far as rice availability in the market is concerned. The production of the rice is not increasing in tandem with its demand because the farmer is not getting his due through the MSP mechanism," he said.
Mr Javadekar claimed that if the country produced more paddy, the prices would not only stabilize but would also come down in the market. "This is the economic reality, which will guarantee higher incomes to farmer and reasonable prices to the consumers. The Government is overlooking this vital aspect," he said.
He further argued that there is no policy to narrow down the gap of what the producer gets and what the consumer pays.
While appreciating the Eleventh five year plan's target of 10 million tonnes of additional production of rice, he said the target could never be realised unless the farmer was ensured a good MSP and a new technology to increase cultivation of the crop.
The Government, he said, had quietly accepted the recommendations of the Dr M S Swaminathan to fix MSP for wheat by adding 50 per cent to the cost of production as calculated by the Commission of agricultural Costs and Prices. "Same justice should be done for paddy growers," he said, while demanding that MSP be made an effective tool for ensuring remunerative prices and not just a protection against distress.