Farmers protests: The central government may go for a substantive hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for oil seeds and pulses, said Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh who had directed the pesticide industry to bring down prices. A meeting will be held today over the reduction of seed prices. The BJP-led NDA government had already decided to enhance support for farm loan subvention to ensure more credit. The opposition parties, however, have decided that it will call a country wide strike to protest against the alleged farmers distress in the country, accordinmg to Indian Express report. Hardening its stand, the Opposition will press for a comprehensive loan waiver for agrarian community and implementation of the 2006 M S Swaminathan Commission report.
The central government initiative
The Agriculture Minister had said that the Cabinet will consider the recommendation of the CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs and prices) and announce the MSP. Apart for these, there would be an increase of Rs 400 for oil seeds and pulses. Notably, violent prtotests broke out in Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh over low prices and lack of adequate purchasing arrangements by the governments, according to IE report.
Underlining that bringing down prices of seeds is very important, Singh said that he would exhort private companies to reduce prices of seeds so that initiatives taken by the government for farmers were supported.
The Centre on Wednesday had approved an interest subvention scheme worth Rs 20,339 crore with which farmers will continue to get short-term loans up to Rs 3 lakh. Singh, however, said the Centre does not support waiver of farm loans. Notably, Yogi Adityanath and Devendra Fadnavis had announced such waivers in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The UP government had announced a Rs 30,000-crore farm loan waiver and Maharashtra recently decided a waiver worth Rs 35,000 crore.
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An Opposition leader said that this is a perfect opportunity for them to capitalize the farmers protest to hit back at the Narendra Modi government, the report says. The idea they say was politically viable maximum protests were held in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra which are ruled by BJP.