June 30, 2024

AIKS Demands White Paper from CACP on MSP Differences

THE All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), in a statement issued on June 26, has demanded that the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) bring out a White Paper to inform farmers about the difference in prices under the C2+50 per cent formula and the A2+FL+50 per cent formula. AIKS requests that this be done at the earliest before fixing the Rabi price for 2025-26. AIKS submitted a letter in this regard to the chairman of CACP on June 26, during the CACP meeting with farmers associations for the Rabi price consultation for the 2025-26 marketing season.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had promised to implement the M S Swaminathan Commission's recommendation of C2+50 per cent way back in 2014. But even after ten years, the CACP is still fixing the MSP based on the A2+FL+50 per cent formula, which is significantly lower than C2+50 per cent. Last week, the information and broadcasting minister announced that the MSP approved for Kharif crops was 1.5 times more than the cost of production, which is incorrect. All the kisan organisations expressed strong resentment and protested.

AIKS also demanded that the White Paper cover the fact that presently below 10 per cent of farmers benefit from the MSP announced by the CACP due to the lack of a guaranteed procurement system across the country to ensure purchase at this rate.

The CACP has to advise the NDA government to form a Price Stabilisation Fund by collecting due shares from monopoly trade and agribusiness corporations, which make huge profits from processing and marketing agricultural products. Additionally, the government should allocate funds for this purpose in the forthcoming union budget. The CACP must consider the principle of fixing prices to ensure a minimum of 30 per cent of the gross value of value-added products in the brand market made from agricultural commodities is shared with the farmers. The CACP should also advise against the entry of monopoly capital and multinational corporations into agriculture, including input industries like seed, fertilizer, and pesticides.

AIKS reminded the CACP that during the last ten years under NDA rule, inflation and price rises have increased the cost of production fivefold, and the living cost has also soared, leading to huge losses in farming. Farm households are facing severe indebtedness, causing 31 farmers to commit suicide daily during this period.

AIKS demanded the repeal of GST on agricultural inputs, no privatisation of electricity, ensuring minimum support price for all crops with guaranteed procurement, and a minimum wage for a dignified life for workers. AIKS also asked for the formation of collectives and cooperatives of small farmers and agricultural workers to reduce production costs and enhance production and productivity. Comprehensive linkage of MNREGS with farming, and the public sector extending interest-free credit, and insurance cover to all individual farms are necessary to save agriculture and farmers.

P Krishnaprasad, finance secretary, and Pushpendra Tyagi, CKC member of AIKS, attended the meeting and raised these demands in the letter.