Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The noise over minimum support price (MSP) of paddy is yet to die down in Odisha even though Finance minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget on Thursday promised farmers a MSP that will be 1.5 times the production cost of Kharif crops.

The ruling-BJD and the Congress in Odisha expressed doubts over the implementation of the proposal that can help lakhs of farmers in the State.

“Odisha has been requesting the Centre for a higher MSP for paddy since the last four years. It could have been raised earlier but the announcement was made now eyeing the upcoming 2019 general elections,” said BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb.

“We welcome the move of the Union government but it must first clarify the modalities of implementing the proposal,” added Deb.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said the MSP hike announcement is a new ‘jumla’ of the BJP for 2018. “Farmers will not get any benefit from the proposed MSP hike in the budget,” he added.

Reacting to the allegations, senior leader of BJP’s Odisha unit, Pratap Sarangi said both the BJD and the Congress have developed a doubtful mindset instead of being supportive to 'rational' and 'progressive' activities.

As per the estimates of the state government, Rs 2,344 is the input cost for producing one quintal of paddy, while the Centre pegs it at Rs 1,327 only.

While the farmers in Odisha are presently getting Rs 1,550 per quintal of Paddy, the state has been demanding a MSP of Rs 2,930 per quintal.