2% MSP hike of wheat is a cruel joke, says Congress

A day after the central government hiked MSP of wheat and other agricultural produce, the Congress has said it is nothing but a cruel joke.

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said on Thursday, “Nation has witnessed highest fuel (lifeline of Agri sector) price hike in 75 yrs & lowest MSP hike for wheat in 12 years — BJP only believes in ‘snatching away’ & not supporting the farmers — Current MSP hike is a cruel joke on farmers already paying the price of anti-farmer BJP Govt.”

Congress Chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala too hit out at the government and said the hike is nothing compared to the increase in input cost of the produce.

He said there is only 1.75 per cent hike in the MSP of sugarcane while that of wheat has been increased by only 2 per cent and other items are less than 10 per cent. The price of diesel, pesticides and fertilizers and other items have increased by several times, he said.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all mandated Rabi crops for Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2022-23 with an aim to realigning the MSPs in favour of oilseeds, pulses, and coarse cereals over wheat.

This has been done to encourage farmers to shift to a larger area for these crops and adopt best technologies and farm practices, to correct demand-supply imbalance, a Cabinet communique said.

The government has increased the MSP of Rabi crops for RMS 2022-23, to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce. The highest absolute increase in MSP over the previous year has been recommended for lentil (masur) and rapeseeds and mustard (Rs 400 per quintal each) followed by gram (Rs 130 per quintal).

The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification.

For wheat, there has been an increase of Rs 40 per quintal while for barley, it is Rs 35 per quintal, over the last year.

The MSP for RMS 2022-23 for wheat has been announced as Rs 2,015 per quintal considering the cost of production for 2022-23 as Rs 1,008, for barley, it is Rs 1,635 against Rs 1,019, MSP for gram has been announced as Rs 5,230 against the cost of production of Rs 3,004, for lentil, it is Rs 5,500 against Rs 3,079, for rapeseed and mustard at Rs 5,050 against Rs 2,523 and the MSP for safflower has been announced as Rs 5,441 against the cost of production of Rs 3,627.