Bhubaneswar: Intensifying the demand to increase the paddy minimum support price (MSP), Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy Tuesday targeted the Centre for delaying to fix the MSP for paddy crop.
In a letter to the Centre, Maharathy demanded MSP of Rs 2,930 for per quintal of paddy and Rs 2,970 for A grade paddy.
“The Central Government should have fixed the paddy MSP before the end of June. Since May, we have been demanding to increase MSP to Rs 2930 per quintal, but we have no information regarding this till now,” stated Maharathy.
BJP National President Amit Shah came to Odisha for a visit but he did not rake up the issue of increasing the MSP of paddy, Maharathy added.
In reaction to Maharathy’s statement, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said, “Already the Centre is reviewing the MSP. A few states have submitted a report while a few others are delaying and not submitted yet. The Committee formed will soon have a meeting on this. As per the promise of the Prime Minister, the MSP will soon be hiked soon.”
On the other hand, Congree MLA Prakash Behera stated, “The Centre has failed to declare anything on the Support Price, neither did it give any time to the Home Committee. This is saddening and it is clear that the Centre has turned a blind eye for the farmers.”
Earlier in the day, the Centre stated that the paddy MSP could be hiked by Rs 200 per quintal. The MSP for the common grade paddy was Rs 1,550 per quintal last year.
The increase in paddy MSP is seen as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s previous announcement to maintain the MSP at least at one and half times of the production cost.
The hike in MSP for paddy is expected to put an additional burden of an estimated Rs 12,000 crore on account of procurement based on records of procurement in previous years.
Rice procurement last year stood at over 36 million tonnes which corresponds to about 55 million tonnes of paddy, the reports said.