BJP demands Rs 1000 per quintal of paddy

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New Delhi, June 12 (UNI) Terming the Cabinet decision to increase the adhoc Minimum Support Price (MSP) of common variety of paddy at Rs 850 as 'low and inadequate', the BJP today demanded the Centre to increase the same to Rs 1000.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said unless paddy and other food grain growers were paid remunerative prices for their produce for the next ten years, the country would never be able to come out of the vicious circle of shortages. Once the production and productivity picked up, the country would be even in a position to export food grains, he said.

The Government he said should accept the formula of Dr M S Swaminathan Committee for declaring the remunerative prices by the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP).

Asked about the statement of Finance Minister P Chidambaram that the states themselves had determined the costs, Mr Javadekar said it was nothing but a 'white lie' because the states can at best 'provide data' regarding the agicultural operations and input costs prevailing in their states. They (states) have no power to determine the MSP and only CACP can do it. The FM should not mislead the people by palming off the blame on the states, he said.

To a question that the MSP during the NDA regime was low, Mr Javadekar said the input costs during the previous government were all under check be it seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and water.

During the last four years of UPA regime, the costs of these inputs had doubled forcing the farmers to resort to extreme steps like suicides, he claimed.

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