Historic Betrayal of Farmers: BJP Govt Denies Promised C2+50% & Assured Procurement
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP had generated high hopes and got the support of farmers in 2014 elections by promising the implementation of the Swaminathan commission recommendation of fixing MSP according to the formula C2+50 percent. It has betrayed them yet again by announcing MSP for the Kharif crops based on A2+FL costs instead of the promised more comprehensive C2 costs. Also no steps have been taken to ensure assured procurement. Without assured procurement any such announcement is only notional and will not accrue to the cultivating peasantry. The BJP government’s tall claims that the decision on Kharif MSP is “historic” falls flat when one compares with the actual promise and the gap between A2+FL and C2 costs. It actually is a historic betrayal of the promise made to farmers of fixing MSP at a level of at least 150 percent of the C2 cost of production.
Difference Between C2+50 & MSP
CACP Costs for 2018-19
The above table clearly shows that if the promised C2+50% formula was used for calculating MSP it should have been much higher. It also has to be noted that there is huge disparity in cost calculation by central agencies and states. Centrally determined costs are much lower than the costs determined by the state agricultural departments. Both of these fall below farmers’ actual costs.
The MSP recommended by state governments (including BJP ruled states) based on their cost calculations are much higher than MSP announced.
Public procurement is mainly taking place only in few crops like paddy and wheat and that too is below 20 percent of the total production. In most other crops there is no procurement in most states.
Costs of certain crops and recommendations by the states will bring out starkly the betrayal by the Narendra Modi led BJP government.
For paddy, the state projection of cost of production for 2017-18 by Andhra Pradesh was Rs 1866/qtl while the CACP projection for the state was merely Rs 1495/qtl. Andhra Pradesh had proposed Rs 2799/qtl. Notably BJP ruled states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh had proposed MSP of Rs 3251/qtl, Rs 2,200/qtl and Rs 2,700/qtl respectively for paddy in 2017-18. Other major paddy growing states like Tamilnadu and Punjab had recommended MSP of Rs 2300/qtl and Rs 2000/qtl for 2017-18. A full one year after that the BJP Government has announced Rs 1750/qtl. The LDF government in Kerala is already procuring at Rs 2350/Qtl. Due to the absence of public procurement, farmers in most states are forced to sell at distress prices ranging from Rs 800/qtl to Rs 1200/qtl even when MSP was Rs 1550/Qtl.
BJP ruled Gujarat had proposed Rs 6500/qtl for groundnut last year while the MSP announced only Rs 4890/qtl. Farmers were expecting a huge hike in pulses as an incentive for producing more to meet the country’s needs and also for naturally fixing nitrogen to the tune of about Rs 4000/hectare. For arhar/tur, the cost of production determined by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were Rs 5984/qtl amd Rs 7123/qtl while the CACP projections were way below at Rs 5683/qtl only for both the states. Farmers are forced to sell at rates ranging between Rs 3400/qtl to Rs 4,200/qtl only which is below the then MSP of Rs 5450/qtl, while this BJP government is assuring MSP to farmers in Mozambique. Same trend continues for Moong and Urad. Karnataka which is a major producer of arhar/tur had suggested an MSP of Rs 7000/qtl while the MSP announced is only Rs 5675/qtl which is way below the cost of production in the major arhar/tur growing states. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh had suggested Rs 4800/qtl and Rs 4000/qtl for soyabean while the MSP announced is only Rs 3399/qtl. For cotton the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments cost projection for 2017-18 was Rs 5042/qtl and Rs 5337/qtl while CACP projection was only Rs 4625/qtl. They had proposed MSP of Rs 7564/qtl and Rs 8005/qtl respectively and BJP ruled Maharashtra had proposed Rs 7204/qtl while the MSP announced is only Rs 5150/qtl.
Clearly, on looking into the costs of production projected by the states and the centre, MSP proposed by states and the MSP announced we can understand that the BJP government led by Narendra Modi is seeking to create an illusion of bounty while they actually are pegging farmers’ costs way below the actual and the MSP announced is actually a betrayal of what had been promised.
Four years of the BJP government have passed without doing anything for farmers and they are now seeking to hoodwink farmers by making an aggressive campaign on the eve of impending elections. AIKS condemns this callous attitude of the BJP government that exposes its utter failure and calls for revision of MSP according to the Swaminathan Commission recommendations and for ensuring assured procurement. AIKS has chalked out mass campaign, jail bharo on August 9 and massive Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally on September 5. We call upon all democratic organisations and individuals interested in farmers’ welfare to join in much greater numbers in these protests against the betrayal by the BJP government.