Hyderabad: The Lok Satta Party today roundly condemned the Union Food Ministry for its refusal to accept the recommendation of the Committee on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) for raising the minimum support price for common variety of paddy to Rs.1080 and the granting of a bonus of Rs.80 per quintal for the year 2011-12.
In a media statement, Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma recalled that the CACP’s recommendation itself was half hearted. Although it conceded that the cost of production had increased by 20 percent, it recommended the raising of the MSP by a mere eight percent.
Mr. Varma said the Union Food Ministry was raising the bogey of food inflation and the Government’s subsidy on the PDS shooting up for turning down the bonus proposal.
Mr. Varma pointed out that cereals constituted only a small part of food consumption. Food inflation was going up because of the increase in the prices of fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat products.
Concerns over inflation have not prevented the Union Government owned oil companies from raising the petrol price by Rs.5 a litre, said Mr. Varma and added that the Government itself is planning to raise the prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG in a week.
Mr. Varma said that the Union Government seems to be hell-bent upon pauperizing farmers by denying them a fair price for their produce. National food security will be a myth if the Government deprives farmer of his livelihood security.
The Lok Satta Working President recalled that the State Government itself had sought an MSP of Rs.2033 per quintal of paddy, as recommended by the Swaminathan Committee. The committee had recommended that the MSP should be at least 50 percent more than the cost of cultivation,
The CACP recommendation and the Union Food Ministry’s response are highly detrimental to farmers and tenants, who account for a majority of the rural population. Could the Government ensure food security by making agriculture a losing proposition, Mr. Varma asked. (NSS)