Assembly adopts resolution to hike Paddy MSP

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly today unanimously adopted a resolution recommending the state government to urge the Centre to increase the MSP of common paddy to Rs 2930 per quintal.

The House supported the resolution moved by Agriculture Minister Pradeep Kumar Maharathy and said the farmers should get appropriate price for paddy. The Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy had been only Rs 1470 per quintal which was much less than the input cost.

Maharathy said the state government had written three letters to the Centre seeking hike in the MSP to Rs 2500 per quintal. But, the central government fixed the MSP for paddy at Rs 1470 per quintal.

“The MSP being fixed by the Government of India is not commensurate with the rising cost of inputs such as seeds, fertiliser, manure, micro nutrient, irrigation charges and hiring of farm machinery for paddy being incurred by farmers in our state,” Maharathy said.

Maharathy in his resolution wanted the MSP for paddy should be Rs 2500 per qunital. However, the price quoted by agriculture minister was not accepted by the government chief whip Ananta Das, who moved an amendment for making the MSP at Rs 2930 per quintal of paddy.

Das said the MSP for paddy should be Rs 2930 per quintal as the farmers have to spend Rs 2344 to produce one quintal of paddy. “Rs 2930 is perfect as it gives 25 per cent extra to farmers on their investment to produce one quintal of paddy,” Das said.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress, however, said that the MSP for paddy should be Es 3516 per quintal as Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a public meeting at Bargarh had promised to give one-and-half-times more to the farmers on their expenditure to produce food grains.

“Therefore, I have demanded that Rs 3516 should be the MSP per quintal of paddy in accodance to the Prime Minister’s promise,” Mishra said.

The agriculture minister, however, rejected Mishra’s proposal on the grounds that the Centre would reject it because they (Centre) were reluctant to increase the MSP to Rs 2500 per quintal of paddy. Maharathy, however, said he supported the price quoted by the government chief whip.

Mishra volunteered to withdrew his amendment as he wanted a unanimity for adoption of the resolution.

Maharathy said a House Committee would be set up under the chairmanship of the Speaker to take up the matter with the Centre. The committee will meet the Prime Minister and put forth the MSP issue.

Earlier participating in the discussion, BJP member Rabinarayan Nayak criticised the state government for not fighting for the farmers who sustained loss for producing paddy. The BJP has demanded Rs 2800 as MSP per quintal of paddy.

The resolution was adopted after three hours of discussion on the minister’s proposal. Both the opposition Congress and BJP had joined hands while demanding for adoption of a resolution on the MSP.

Speaker Niranjan Pujari had yesterday announced on holding a discussion on the government s resolution on MSP for paddy immediately after the question hour today.

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