The Central Government has made fraudulent claims that the announced hike in prices of the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and other crops is fulfillment of the promise for implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations. The Commission had recommended how the cost of production should be calculated and that the MSP should be fixed on this basis with a 50 per cent profit margin for farmers.
In a cruel joke on farmers, burdened by high debt because of increasing costs of production, the Modi Government has deliberately used a measurement of costs which omits important aspects thus manipulating the cost calculation and bringing it down to levels even lower than what the State Governments including BJP ruled State Governments had proposed last year and less than the actual cost to the farmer.
Calculations of what the farmer should get according to the Swaminathan Commission recommendations and what the Modi Government has announced shows a huge gap and losses to the farmers ranging from 600 rupees for paddy to between 1800 and 2000 rupees for various pulses, groundnut and sugarcane.
Further, there is no guarantee that the farmers will get even this price as the procurement operations of the central government are being deliberately cut forcing farmers to sell at distress prices.
This is nothing but a desperate bid to deflect the growing discontent among farmers against the Modi Government in an election year. The CPI(M) will expose this fraud on the farmers and will extend support to all the struggles of farmers, the majority of whom are small and middle peasants for the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations and other legitimate demands.