Increase MSP before carrying out 7th pay panel recommendations

‘Centre has no right to hike salaries of only one section of society while farmers’ incomes continue to be low’

About 60 farmers’ associations in the country have demanded that the Centre put on hold the implementation of the 7th pay commission recommendations till it executes the pre-poll promise of ensuring that farmers get 50 per cent of profits in minimum support prices (MSP) over cost of cultivation.

A resolution to this effect was adopted at a national-level convention of ‘Kisan Ekta’, a newly-formed confederation of farmers’ associations, in Bengaluru on Wednesday, according to Food and Agricultural Policy Analyst Devinder Sharma, who played a key role in bringing these farmers’ organisations together.

Participating at a meet-the-press programme after the valedictory, Mr. Sharma said. “We want the government to give a similar benefit in the form of increase in profits to farmers also. You have no right to give such a benefit to only one section of society by ignoring farmers who constitute 52 per cent of the country’s population,” he said.

He said such an increase in MSP had been recommended by an expert committee, headed by noted agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan.

He also alleged that the MSPs had been deliberately kept low to prevent increase in food prices that would trigger inflation.

Mr. Sharma said farmers’ organisations would formally write to the Prime Minister on their demand. “We want to initiate a debate on this regard in the country so that the seriousness of the issue will be understood. We will decide the next course of action depending upon the government’s response,” he said.

Source:- The Hindu


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