New Delhi: The central government has called for the formation of a committee, indicating the softness in the demand of the minimum support price (MSP) of the farmer agitators. For this, some names have been sought from the farmer organizations that are part of the committee. Procurement of crops at the fixed MSP has always been a big issue for the farmers. Especially the farmers of Haryana, Punjab and Western UP have always raised their voice regarding this. But is this issue of MSP so easy for the government and if so why are the previous governments refraining from guaranteeing it?
Krishnamurthy Subramaniam, Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, says in an article that the implementation of MSP will pose a risk of loss of crop diversity. It will focus on production of only those crops on which the government is guaranteeing a fair price and there will be no risk. This will be a kind of burden on the taxpayers. Government will buy more ration at MSP, which will be consumed in food subsidy schemes and maintenance of remaining ration is also a big problem. Apart from wheat and paddy, there are many other crops that can reduce their yield. He says that this is one of the reasons why we are seeing a rise in the prices of pulses and oil today. If MSP is imposed on some crops, it will increase further. This could further increase inflation.
On one hand the urban poor and the lower-middle class people are suffering huge losses, while this policy is not beneficial for the small and medium farmers. Not only this, due to the production of crops like paddy and sugarcane, the water level is also falling continuously. Anil Ghanwat, a member of the Supreme Court-constituted panel to study three agricultural laws, says that if the government accepts the demand for MSP on 23 crops, it will put the country on the verge of bankruptcy. He also clarifies that mandatory legislation on MSP is not possible.