While misled farmers, driven by the lies peddled by various opposition parties and the anti-Modi brigade, continue to protest, assuming that Modi government will ‘abolish MSP’ through its new farm laws, the central government’s ongoing paddy procurement has surged past the last year’s total procurement by more than 23 per cent.
According to official data, the Food Ministry has purchased a record high of 487.92 lakh tonnes of Kharif (monsoon) paddy till December 31 as against 390.56 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The food ministry’s official projections show the government’s total procurement for summer paddy (2020-21) will likely touch 74.2 million tonnes, which is a remarkable increase of 18 per cent since last year as the total quantity procured during 2019-20 was 62.7 million tonnes.
Moreover, nearly six million farmers across the nation have already been paid minimum support prices to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore for these purchases. “About 62.28 lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing KMS procurement operations with MSP value of Rs 92,120.85 crore,” an official statement said.
Interestingly, while mostly Punjab farmers are seen protesting against the new agricultural reforms introduced by the Modi government, the official data reveals that out of the total purchase of 487.92 lakh tonnes, Punjab has contributed 202.77 lakh tonnes, which is 41.55 per cent of the total procurement.
Other than this, until December 31, 2020, a quantity of 75,03,914 cotton bales valued at Rs 21,989.94 crore have been procured, benefitting 14,69,704 farmers. Moreover, the government agencies had also procured 251633.79 MT of Moong, Urad, Groundnut Pods and Soyabean with MSP value of Rs 1346.76 crores, benefitting 1,35,813 farmers in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Congress instigating farmers by peddling blatant lie that Minimum Support Price will be abolished
It almost becomes imperative to note here that opposition parties, especially the Congress has been consistently misleading the farmers in Punjab by sharing some blatant and outright lies against the new farmer laws. Amongst other things, the Congress has been instigating the farmers that the central government, through its news farm laws, would abolish the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Which is an outright lie as seen by recent procurement of Kharif crops as per MSP.
The farmers have been, in turn, agitating at the outskirts of the national capital against Modi government’s farm laws assuming that the new laws mean that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) would be abolished.
Mandis will remain, MSP will be unaffected: Modi government
The central government has clarified a number of times that they are neither abolishing APMC Mandis not repealing MSPs. Both the claims are lies. In fact, the Congress, in its own 2019 election manifesto, had promised to abolish the APMC Act altogether. However, the Modi government has only amended the APMC Act.
Modi government has not repealed the APMC Act in its entirety. The new laws passed by the current government provides the farmers with an additional avenue to sell their produce besides the Mandis. The provisions in the bills exempt transactions done outside the physical premises of APMC (agricultural produce market committee) Mandis from any “market fee or cess or levy” imposed by state governments, enabling the farmers to get full price for their produce.
PM Modi, government ministers and BJP leaders have asserted again and again that MSPs will continue. Rahul Gandhi and Congress, however, have been peddling the same lies again and again.
Meanwhile, six rounds of talks between the government and nearly 40 farmer unions have so far failed to end the deadlock, even though the govt has agreed to two demands of the farmers, to not penalise farmers for burning stubble under the new air pollution law, and to continue giving electricity subsidy for irrigation.