200 days of farmers’ protests: SKM rejects MSP for Kharif, reiterates demand for repeal of farm laws
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) – a coalition of 40 farmers’ unions – has rejected the new MSP for Kharif crops announced by the Modi government
Even as the protests against the three controversial farm laws completed 200 days during which 500 farmers have lost their lives, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) – a coalition of 40 farmers’ unions – has rejected the new MSP for Kharif crops announced by the Modi government.
Terming the new MSP for Kharif crops another “jumla”, the umbrella organization of farmers unions has attacked the Modi government for its “anti-farmer attitude.”
“Instead of using Comprehensive Cost C2 as the cost concept on which a profit margin of at least 50% will be added, the government continued with its old trickery of using Paid Out Costs + imputed value of Family Labour,” said farmers leaders in a joint statement.
Recommended by the Swaminathan Commission, the C2 Cost formula proposes fixing MSP at 50% more than the comprehensive cost of production. Interestingly, BJP had promised to implement the recommendation of Swaminathan Commission’s report in 2014.
The Centre has hiked paddy MSP by Rs 72 to Rs 1,940 per quintal for 2021-22 crop year from Rs 1,868 per quintal last year. Announced by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the highest absolute
increase in MSP has been recommended for sesame at Rs 452 per quintal followed by Tur and Urad at Rs 300 per quintal each.
Pointing out contradictions between two arms of the government, the Agriculture Ministry and Niti Ayog, the SKM said while Member Agriculture at NITI Aayog, Ramesh Chand stated that the government will resume talks only if the farmers point out particular deficiencies in the laws, Tomar has said talks can resume only if farmers come forward with alternative proposals.
“It appears that Ramesh Chand who works in an advisory role to the government has not updated himself about the eleven rounds of talks that were held between the government and the farmers' representatives till January 22nd 2021, wherein fundamental deficiencies with the laws have already been presented to the government,” said the farmers leaders.
Asserting that the “real anti-farmer attitude of the government is very apparent”, protesting farmers reiterated repeal of the three laws and a new legislation to guarantee MSP for all farmers.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, earlier in the day, tweeted in support of farmers saying despite 500 farmers having lost their lives, farmers have stayed put on the ground.
Meanwhile, thousands of farmers belonging to different farmers’ unions joined protesting farmers at different borders Delhi. As per the SKM, thousands of protestors from Udham Singh Nagar and other areas of Uttarakhand have reached the Ghazipur protest site.