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MRP means Minimum Price: Rahul Gandhi bizarrely equates Maximum Retail Price on consumer goods with Minimum Support Price on crops

Rahul Gandhi added that shopkeepers can’t sell their commodities like cameras, chips, and water bottles below the designated MRP. 

In a bizarre analogy, Congress scion Rahul Gandhi equated the Minimum Support Price (MSP) declared on crops with the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) set on commodities like FMCG products. Rahul Gandhi gave this false equivalence while addressing his supporters in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. 

Notably, on 2nd March, the Congress prince resumed his Yatra from Madhya Pradesh after taking a break for a paid, private event at the Jesus College of the University of Cambridge. While extending support to the demand of the protesting farmers to legalise MSP, Rahul Gandhi argued that the MSP for farmers is like the MRP for shopkeepers. He added that shopkeepers can’t sell their commodities like cameras, chips, and water bottles below the designated MRP. 

The specific reference equating MRP with MSP can be heard at 18 minutes and 21 minutes into these two videos uploaded by the official YouTube handle of the Congress party, video links here and here respectively. 

However, MSP and MRP are two different and contrasting limits, and contrary to the claims of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, retailers/shopkeepers are not legally or otherwise barred from selling below the Maximum Retail Price set on several commodities. In fact, as normal market practice, to maximise sales, retailers do offer discounts and sell commodities below the MRP rate.  

Incidentally, the leftist ecosystem had earlier manufactured this false equivalence to intellectualise the demand for MSP. Evidently, on 22nd February, Sumant Banerji, the National Editor of LiveMint, came up with a bizarre justification to argue in favour of MSP legalisation. Taking to X, he also compared the Minimum Support Price to the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of products sold in general stores.

Meanwhile, several netizens slammed and mocked the Congress leader for making false equivalences of MSP and MRP.  

An X user wrote, “He doesn’t know the difference between MSP and MRP. And dreaming of becoming PM.” 

Lawyer and BJP media panelist, Charu Pragya tweeted, “Rahul Ji is so smart! No wonder Cambridge gaye the! He doesn’t know it’s “Maximum Retail Price” and he doesn’t know the printed price means a product can’t be sold ABOVE that price. Koi batao Rahul Ji ko MSP and MRP are different (and opposite!)”

Author and BJP Spokesperson Tuhin Sinha wrote, “The Gandhi siblings needs an urgent crash course in MSP, MRP, GST et al..”

MRP and MSP differences explained

The Central Government sets the minimum support price (MSP) for crops using a formula that considers production costs and sets the price at one-and-a-half times these expenses. This method considers both explicit costs (A2), which include expenses for items such as seeds, fertiliser, pesticides, fuel, irrigation, hired labour, leased-in land, and the estimated value of unpaid labour performed by family members (Family Labour or simply FL). Notably, the government decides MSP for 22 mandated crops based on recommendations from the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), state governments, and relevant Central Ministries /Departments.

Now, coming to Maximum Retail Price, the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) is a type of price regulation used to regulate the price at which consumer goods are permitted to be sold. The MRP is the maximum price that can be charged for a specific product, and it is usually stated on the product packaging or label.

Unlike MSP, the MRP is not decided by the government. It is decided by the manufacturers to safeguard consumers from overpaying for products by ensuring that it is not sold at a higher price than the MRP. While the government is bound to procure the crops at MSP, in the case of MRP, the retailers often sell items at prices lower than the MRP by undercutting their margin and offering discount.

Also, the Kirana shop owner would get an MRP on a product only if it is sold. On the other hand, the farmers are demanding MSP as a legal right meaning that the government will be bound to purchase the crops farmers want to sell regardless of its demand. The customers have no legal obligation to buy the products from a Kirana store.

The comparison of two different contrasting ‘Maximum’ and ‘Minimum’ limits is akin to comparing apples and oranges which neither holds water in the logical domain nor in legal or political sphere.  

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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