Updated: Oct 3, 2020
27th September 2020
The Government of India announced a hike of ₹50 per quintal in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat. This is the lowest ever hike in the past decade. In the coming Rabi season, wheat will now be procured at ₹1975 per quintal against the ₹1925 in the previous year.
As reported by the Indian Express, the Minimum Support Price is the price at which the Government of India buys the agricultural product directly from the farmer if a low price is offered in the open market compared to the cost incurred. The government buys at a minimum rate to safeguard the farmers of their minimum profit for the harvest.
Data mentioned in Bloomberg Quint’s report, reveals that in 2010-11, the MSP was ₹1100, which hiked to ₹1170 in 2011-12. The sharpest rise in the decade came in 2012-13 when ₹115 per quintal increased to ₹1285 – an increase of 9.8 per cent. In the following years, 2013-14, MSP was ₹1350 per quintal and ₹1400 in 2014-15, ₹1450 in 2016-17, and ₹1625 in 2017-18. There was an increase of 6.8 per cent in 2018-19, increasing the MSP to ₹1735. The percentage, however, decreased gradually in the years 2019-20 (4.6 per cent) and 2020-21 (2.6 per cent). Today, the MSP stands at ₹1975 per quintal.
This is the lowest ever hike in wheat MSP since the current government has come to power, from ₹1925 to ₹1975 per quintal. Bhartiya Kisan Union, which itself is a part of BJP-RSS, is not satisfied and has raised questions against the party, told a report by The Hindu.
Jagmohan Singh, General Secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Union, thinks that by bringing the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, the government has washed its hands-off MSP, and this announcement was made to divert the attention of the farmers. He also added that if the government was serious about crop price, then it should be as per the recommendation of the Swaminathan Report. The Prime Minister cleared all rumours that with the coming of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, MSP will not be tampered and will remain as it stands today.
In the meantime, in the Mukerian subdivision, which is a stronghold of BJP, a large number of party workers and pro-BJP farmers have decided not to vote for the party in the future as they are against the MSP hike and farm bills. Many party workers have pledged to protest against the Centre on 25th September 2020.
At the time of a pandemic, farmers need more support and are not satisfied with a mere hike in MSP. Farmers are not impressed by the government announcement and consider it an insensitive attitude towards them.
(Source: Indian Express, The Hindu, Bloomberg Quint)
Edited by Satvik Pandey