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Odisha Govt Demands for Increase in MSP of Paddy to Rs 3,400 Per Quintal

On Saturday, Odisha government proposed that the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy be raised from the current Rs 2,040 per quintal to Rs 3,400

Ayushi Sikarwar
paddy procurement
Paddy Procurement (File Image)

On Saturday, Odisha government proposed that the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy be raised from the current Rs 2,040 per quintal to Rs 3,400. Forest and environment minister Pradip Amat while responding to a motion for postponement on farmers' issues put forth by the Congress, said that the House had decided to enhance the paddy MSP to Rs 2,930 per quintal in 2017, and prices have seen a rise since then.

Amat advised BJP MLAs present in the house to ask Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to raise the MSP as he will be visiting the state on Sunday. Tomar is slated to conduct a campaign for BJP candidate Pradip Purohit for the Padampur byelection to be held on December 5.

He stated that the administration is dedicated to make sure that the farmers have a better life. He further emphasised on the state government's help of Rs 200 crore for input subsidies to farmers who experienced crop loss due to insufficient rainfall in 2021 as well as constant follow-up with the Center for payment of crop insurance during his address.

However, the members of the House belonging to BJP abstained from the discussion, stating that the relevant ministers were not present in the assembly, despite the fact that the issue involves the departments of agriculture, cooperation, food supplies, and consumer protection. Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi said it was sad that the forest minister provided the response on the matter. 

Santosh Singh Saluja, a Congress MLA who took part in the discussion, criticised the state and the Central government for engaging in politics on the matter. 

"Why did the state take so long to announce the input subsidy that farmers were supposed to get by July 31? Why did the Centre put off paying out crop insurance when it was due long ago? The insurance money was given out in consideration of the polls in Padampur", he said.

Meanwhile, for the second day in a row, there was a huge ruckus in the state assembly on Saturday as members of the opposition and treasury benches used the critical farmer issue to target each other.

While Congress raised several farmer-related issues for discussion, such as "mismanagement" in the purchase of paddy, "non-payment" of input subsidies, and "inadequate" minimum support prices, the lawmakers from the main opposition BJP refused to participate, insisting that questions be directed to Agriculture Minister R P Swain.

On behalf of Swain, Panchayati Raj Minister PK Amat spoke during the conversation.

In order to get a response from the responsible minister, the BJP members gathered to the House well, seeking Speaker BK Arukh's thoughts on the situation. They were unable to get a response from the chair, so they started demonstrating in the well while the discourse about the difficulties of farmers continued.

Congressman S. S. Saluja also took the issue that the agriculture and cooperation minister should have been present in the assembly rather than the panchayati raj minister responding on his behalf.

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