.........BHUBANESWAR: Criticising the Centre for the paltry increase in minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) today threatened to intensify its agitation unless the price is fixed at RS 3000 per quintal.
Describing the Centre's decision to hike the MSP on paddy by Rs 80 per quintal as unfortunate, OPCC president Prasad Harichandan said while the production cost is Rs 2344 per quintal of paddy, farmers will incur a loss Rs 794 per quintal. The Centre on Tuesday raised the MSP on paddy from Rs 1470 per quintal to Rs 1550 per quintal.
Referring to the decision taken by the Modi government to increase MSP on paddy by one and a half times as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan committee, Harichandan alleged the decision is yet to be implemented even now.
The OPCC president claimed that MSP on paddy had increased by 250 percent when the UPA was in power at the Centre. However, during the last three years the NDA government raised it by only Rs 190.
Harichandan also asked about the fate of the unanimous resolution was passed in the Odisha assembly in March demanding that the MSP on paddy should be fixed at Rs 2930 per quintal.
He said the resolution was passed in the assembly at a time when five farmers committed suicide every day because of loan burden due to crop loss.
Criticising the Centre for not taking a decision on farm loan waiver, the OPCC president said UPA government had waived loan of Rs 76000 crore on farmers.
Harichandan also demanded that a tribunal should be formed by the Centre immediately to resolve the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river water.
Referring to the support extended by chief minister Naveen Patnaik to NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Harichandan alleged that there is a tacit understanding between BJD and BJP.