State govt says no pension for farmers, Cong walks out of Assembly

Bhubaneswar: Accusing the BJD government in Odisha of adopting "anti-farmer" policies, Opposition Congress on Saturday walked out of the Assembly protesting the Agriculture minister's refusal to announce pension for agrarians and bonus on paddy sale.
"Odisha government has not taken any decision to provide pension for farmers and bonus on paddy," Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said while replying to an adjournment motion debate on the subject.
Asking Congress MLAs to put pressure on UPA government to hike Minimum Support Price (MSP) on paddy to at least Rs 1,400 from Rs 1,250 per quintal, the minister claimed no state in the country had announced bonus on paddy.
"If you (Congress MLAs) are really interested for the betterment of farmers, please take up the matter of raising the MSP. When the Centre increased MSP of wheat, it did not bother to think of farmers cultivating paddy," he said.
Rejecting opposition charge against BJD government, Mishra said agricultural production has increased in Odisha during the 11th plan. "This indicates that the state government is serious about the welfare of farmers," he said.