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After Five Distressing Years, BJP Needs 20 Years to Double Farmer's Income: Randeep Surjewala

Randeep Surjewala said the Centre had not been able to provide Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers despite promising to give them support price at 50 per cent higher than production cost.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:April 28, 2019, 9:06 PM IST
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After Five Distressing Years, BJP Needs 20 Years to Double Farmer's Income: Randeep Surjewala
File photo of Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Bhopal: Slamming the Modi government for faulty agricultural policies over the last five years, Congress’ communications in charge Randeep Surjewala alleged that the five-year tenure was a curse for the farmers.

What was coming was evident from the outset as the day PM Modi assumed office, the land acquisition act was quashed with a conspiracy, Surjewala told reporters in Bhopal on Sunday.

Forget about input cost plus 50 per cent return promised by the BJP ahead of 2014 polls, the farmers even did not get the Minimum Support Price for various crops in all these years, said the senior Congress leader.

Surjewala claimed, quoting the figures issued by the Modi government, that the agricultural growth rate was 4.25 per cent from 2009 to 2014 during UPA rule. He stated with displeasure that this rate had decreased to 2.5 per cent between 2014 and 2018.

“By their own admission, they would need another 20 years for doubling farmers’ income which they have promised by the year 2022,” he added.

He said the Centre had not been able to provide Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers despite promising to give them support price at 50 per cent higher than production cost.

While the MSP for paddy was fixed at Rs 1750 per quintal, it was being sold at Rs 1600 while other crops were getting still lower prices, he said, quoting what he claimed was government data.

The Congress media cell in charge also tried punching holes in Modi government’s claims of offering crop insurance cover to farmers saying the peasants did not get any justified compensation against crop insurance while the insurance companies earned a profit of over Rs 21,000 crore.

He also accused the Modi government of importing food grains just before the farm produce hit markets so that prices crashed and the produce later was sold to consumers at dirt cheap prices while the farmers suffered heavy losses.

"Agricultural import was worth USD 18,779 million in 2014-15, which rose to USD 32,830 million in 2017-18," Surjewala said.

Surjewala alleged that for the “first time in the history of India, any government imposed taxes on agriculture as GST was imposed on fertilisers, pesticides and agricultural equipment”. He further added that petrol and diesel were also heavily taxed with excise duty under Modi’s govt.

Quoting sources in oil companies, Surjewala claimed oil companies have told not to hike from hiking fuel prices during elections and a price hike upto Rs 10 has been ordered by the Modi Govt which would come to force on May 23 when the polling gets over.

“I am hopeful, a government led by Congress would assume office by June first week and we would reduce excise duty if the international crude oil prices go up.”

To a pointed query on Congress promise of reducing fuel prices in MP, Surjewala said their priority was farm loan and he was sure the state government would work on fuel promise after the Lok Sabha elections.

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