Updated April 5th, 2024 at 12:34 IST

Congress' U-Turn: Now Promising MSP Regime, UPA In 2010 Rejected It Fearing 'Market Distortion'

The Congress party on April 5 released the ‘Nyay Patra’ and promised law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers across the country.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
Congress' U-Turn: Now Promising MSP Regime, UPA In 2010 Rejected It Fearing 'Market Distortion' | Image:PTI/File
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New Delhi: The Congress party on April 5 released the ‘Nyay Patra’ and promised law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers across the country, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission.  

During Congress' regime in 2010, a UPA government's response in Parliament to a question whether they had accepted recommendations of Swaminathan Commission regarding MSP revealed that grand-old party then opposed the proposal made by Swaminathan panel which said that MSP should be at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production.

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Congress' U-Turn on MSP 

Responding to question raised by BJP MP Prakash Javadekar, then Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture KV Thomas stated that increase of 50 percent on cost under MSP may distort the market. It added that the Swaminathan Commission's proposal regarding MSP has been rejected by the government. 

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“The National Commission on Farmers under the Chairmanship of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan has recommended that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be at least 50% more than the weighted average cost of production. This recommendation, however, has not been accepted by the Government because MSP is recommended by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) based on objective criteria and considering variety of relevant factors,” Thomas said in written reply to the BJP MP. 

“Hence, prescribing an increase of a at least 50% on cost may distort the market. A mechanical linkage between MSP and cost of production may be counter-productive in some cases,” it added. 

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14 years later, the Congress party released its manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and citing the Swaminathan report, it promised legal guarantee of MSP for farmers.  

While referring to the recent decision by the Centre to confer the Bharat Ratna on the late agricultural scientist  M S Swaminathan, the Congress had took a dig at Modi, saying, “Green Revolution was brought by Swaminathan ji during (late PM) Indira (Gandhi) ji’s time. We followed what Swaminath ji said.”

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Published February 14th, 2024 at 12:34 IST