Kharif MSP is Unfair and Inflicts Losses on Farmers: Dr. Tanwar

The Union Government led by the BJP on 7th June 2023 announced the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for the Kharif Season 2023-24. The MSP announcement is unfair, belies the hopes of the farmers, and inflicts huge losses in their incomes. 

This was stated by the State President of Himachal Pradesh Kissan Sabha Dr. Kuldip Singh Tanwar said in a statement issued here today.

Rather than doubling Farmers’ Incomes as claimed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, rising input costs coupled with unfair MSP will push large sections of the farmers especially, the small, marginal, and middle farmers as well as tenants into indebtedness. 

The longstanding promise made by the Prime Minister in 2014 that the MSP will be given according to the Swaminathan Commission recommendation of C2+50 percent remains a chunav jumla (an unfulfilled election promise). Not a single crop has its MSP fixed as per this formula.

The losses suffered by paddy farmers because of the Government not implementing C2+50 per cent is about Rs.683.5/Qtl. If the Government estimate of about 4 tonnes/hectare is considered as the productivity the losses suffered will be to the tune of Rs.27340/hectare if C2 costs are taken into account.

 In Arhar, Moong, Urad, Sunflower, Sesamum, Nigerseed and Cotton, the losses per quintal range from around Rs.2000/Qtl to even higher than Rs.3000/Qtl. The table below shows the huge losses suffered by farmers due to the unfair, non-remunerative MSP announced.

It is to be noted that the estimates of the projected cost of production for paddy by Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and West Bengal are higher than CACP projections. Similarly, in most crops, the State projections are much higher than the CACP projection. 

So in reality, the CACP plays the role of firstly reducing the cost of production in States and then taking a weighted average to arrive at the All India cost projections. For instance, while the C2 cost for paddy in Kerala projected by the State is Rs.2847/Qtl, the CACP projection is only Rs.2338/Qtl. The Punjab State projection of C2 cost for paddy is Rs.2089/Qtl while the CACP projects it as only Rs.1462/Qtl. 

In Arhar/Tur the C2 costs projected by the State of Karnataka are Rs.9588/Qtl while the CACP projection is only Rs.5744/Qtl, that is Rs.3844/Qtl lesser. For cotton, the Telangana State projections are Rs.11031/Qtl while the CACP projections are far below at Rs.6264/Qtl which is Rs.4767/Qtl lesser. 

If the average of MSP suggested by States is taken into account the MSP would have been Rs.2960/Qtl. The BJP Government announcement is Rs.776/Qtl lesser than the State average. This follows for other crops also.

In this way for all crops, a lower cost of production is arrived at and the All India weighted average is even lower. In cost calculations itself, farmers are first cheated. The farmers in States with higher costs of production are cheated the second time as the weighted average cost will invariably be lower than their actual costs. 

The third time farmers are cheated is since this MSP is mostly notional or on paper as there is no assured procurement in most cases. In any case, the A2+FL costs are much lower than the C2 costs. It is on the basis of such cost calculations that the MSP is decided.

 The CACP and the BJP Government further discourage States that give production bonuses or incentives, like the Rs.780/Qtl bonus given for paddy in Kerala, Rs.110/Qtl given in Jharkhand, Rs.75/Qtl in Tamil Nadu and Bihar inclusion of risk cost in estimating paddy costs and so on.

AIKS demands that the Union Government led by the BJP revise the MSP and enhance it according to the C2+50 percent formula and also assure procurement. AIKS notes with concern that Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 is no longer being featured in the collection of CS data. 

The BJP Government should include J&K and also undertake procurement from farmers there. AIKS calls upon all its units to rise up in protest against the betrayal of farmers by the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government and expose their fraudulent claims.

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