BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh has asked the Centre to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy to Rs 2,100 per quintal. Agriculture Minister Chandrashekhar Sahu has made the demand in a letter to Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Late last month, the Centre raised the MSP for common grade paddy to Rs 1,310 a quintal for 2013-14 (July-June), a rise of Rs 60 a quintal over the last year.
"In a letter to Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Minister Sahu has demanded increase in support price of paddy to Rs 2,100 per quintal," an official in Raipur said on Monday. The missive stated that the increase of only Rs 60 per quintal is insufficient. This has disappointed the paddy- producing farmers of Chhattisgarh and also other states, it said.
"The paddy support price declared by the Central government is insufficient and far less than the actual cost of cultivation. This decision will prove to be a retrogressive step for the entire agriculture sector," the minister said.
On one hand, the government's "anti-farmers" policies are resulting in unexpected rise in foodgrain production cost and on the other, the Centre has turned a "blind eye" to the agony of farmers, Sahu maintained. If this continues, it will become difficult to associate the new generation with farming, the letter added.
The Centre should reconsider its decision and hike the paddy MSP to around Rs 2,100, the BJP Minister said.