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BJD Unhappy Over Paddy MSP Hike, Seeks Rs 2,930 Per Quintal

BJD unhappy over paddy MSP hike, seeks Rs 2,930 per quintal

Bhubaneswar, Jun 9 (PTI) A day after the Centre announced a hike of Rs 100 per quintal on paddy, raising the minimum support price (MSP) to Rs 2,040, the ruling BJD in Odisha expressed its dissatisfaction over the move, and demanded that the amount be further increased to Rs 2,930 per quintal.

BJD national spokesperson Sasmit Patra, at a press conference here, said the rise in MSP of the common grade variety of paddy was "insufficient".

"The BJD had been demanding a 1.5-time MSP rise over the cost of production of paddy, as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. The Centre, however, did not pay any heed," the BJD MP said.

He pointed out that the Odisha Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution on March 25, 2017, recommending Rs 2,930 per quintal as MSP of common paddy All MLAs, including those from the BJP, Congress and the BJD, had unanimously supported the government decision, he noted.

The BJD leader also came down heavily on the Centre "for not lifting surplus parboiled rice from Odisha".

"“The rice produced in Odisha is mostly of the par-boiled variety. The state is one of the contributors to the PDS system in the nation. The Centre’s decision to stop lifting surplus par-boiled rice will adversely affect lakhs of farmers in Odisha," Patra said.

He also stated that the Odisha government had demanded the release of Rs 10,334 crore food subsidy bill for ease of paddy procurement, "but no action has been initiated by the Centre on the matter thus far".

The BJD leader said that the state government had placed before the Centre at least five demands, including the MSP hike to Rs 2,930, "none of which has been fulfilled".

Meanwhile, the Congress lashed out at both the BJP and the BJD for their "anti-farmer attitude".

"If the BJD government is serious about its intentions and wants farmers to earn more, it should announce a bonus on every quintal of paddy being sold by the cultivators," Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said.

BJP Krushak Morcha state president, Pradip Purohit, however, welcomed the Centre’s decision as "much-needed move".

"The state government must first ensure that the farmers get the MSP of Rs 2,040. Middlemen and agents often eat up a share," Purohit added. PTI AAM RMS RMS

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