Orissa oppose MSP fixed by Centre

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 12 (UNI) Orissa today opposed the adhoc Minimum Support Price (MSP) of common variety of paddy fixed at Rs 850 per quintal by the Union government.

Orissa Agriculture Minister Surendranath Nayak said MSP was inadequate and the state would again demand the Centre to raise it to Rs 1000.

Mr Nayak described Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's statement that states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa had wanted an MSP of Rs 850 per quintal as '' not true and totally false'' He said Orissa always demanded the MSP to be fixed at Rs 1000 and had never wanted it to be fixed at Rs 850 per quintal.

Mr Nayak said at the Agriculture Ministers conference held at New Delhi on April 23 he had demanded the MSP of paddy to be raised to Rs1000 per quintal. His statement also figured in the minutes of the conference prepared by the union government.

Later in response to a letter of the union government seeking state government's comments on the report of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) on price policy for Khariff Crops of 2008-09 the state government had agreed to the recommendations of CACP.

The CACP in its recommendations had suggested the MSP for common variety of paddy at Rs 1000.

Mr Nayak said on November 21 last year in a letter Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to fix the MSP of common variety of paddy at Rs 1000 after the MSP for wheat was raised to one thousand and MSP of paddy was fixed at Rs 695.

Mr Patnaik in his letter had stated that MSP of Rs 695 per quintal for paddy against MSP of Rs1000/-per quintal of wheat was being perceived as an act of discrimination by the union government against the poor farmers of the state.

He had stated that paddy is a very labour intensive crop with high input costs and requested the Prime Minister to raise the MSP of paddy to Rs one thousand per quintal to bring parity among different regions of the country.

UNI BD KK AB 2034

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