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Mrunal Manmay Dash

The hike of Rs 100 in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy is negligible and will not serve purpose of the farmers of the State, said Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain on Friday.

Addressing the reporters, Swain said, “The cost of farming has grown up in the last year including the labour cost, pesticide cost and fuel price. So it is already hard for the farmers to sustain in farming. A hike of just Rs 100 in the MSP would not help our farmers taking the growing cost into consideration.”

“We have demanded to make the MSP for paddy Rs 2950. As opposed to that, they are increasing it by Rs 100 every year. While we welcome the decision, it is not encouraging at all,” said Swain.

Mentioning the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Swain further said, “If we calculate the current CPI (7.79%) with the current MCP, the hike should have been Rs 140. So essentially, farmers will get no profit this year too.”

Congress MLA, Tara Prasad Bahinipati attacked both the Centre and the State over the plight of Odisha farmers. “The Centre has ridiculed Odisha with this hike. It is neither buying par-boiled rice from the State nor giving the MSP the State Assembly has passed earlier. Even the State government is not providing any relief to the farmers in terms of the subsidy,” Bahinipati alleged.

Replying to the BJD, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) invoked the issue of corruption to target the ruling party. Speaking to the media, former BJP MLA, Pradeep Purohit said, “Odisha government should ensure that the money Centre is providing to the farmers is not swindled by the brokers. This way the farmers can get the real benefit of their crops.”

The government on Wednesday hiked the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by Rs 100 to Rs 2,040 per quintal for the 2022-23 crop year.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had approved the increase in MSP for all mandated Kharif (summer) crops for the 2022-23 crop year.

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