NEW DELHI: The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) today termed the Centre's decision to hike the minimum support price for paddy by Rs 200 per quintal a "historical betrayal" and accused the BJP-led NDA government of "hoodwinking" farmers with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The decision, taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comes less than a year before the next general elections.
The previous highest hike in paddy MSP was Rs 170 a quintal in the 2012-13 crop year.
In the last four years, the NDA government has raised the paddy MSP between Rs 50-80 per quintal.
The AIKS, in a statement, said that though Modi and the BJP had generated high hopes and got the support of farmers in the 2014 elections they betrayed the peasantry.
They promised implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations of fixing MSP according to the C2+50 per cent formula, but they announced the MSP based on A2+FL costs instead of the promised more comprehensive C2 costs, the farmers body said.
The Swaminathan Commission has suggested that MSPs be fixed on the basis of a comprehensive measure of cultivation costs that includes the imputed cost of capital and the rent on the land (called C2) to give farmers 50 per cent returns, rather than a narrower measure that takes into account the costs incurred by the farmer and the value of family labour (A2+FL).
"It actually is a historic betrayal of the promise made to farmers of fixing MSP at a level of at least 150 per cent of the C2 cost of production.
Four years of the BJP government has passed without doing anything for farmers and they are now seeking to hoodwink farmers by making an aggressive campaign on the eve of ithe mpending elections," the AIKS said in a statement.
The farmers organisation also alleged that the government has also not taken up any step to ensure assured procurement, without which the peasants will not benefit.
"The BJP government's tall claim that the decision on Kharif MSP is 'historic', falls flat when one compares the actual promise and the gap between A2+FL and C2 costs, it said.
The AIKS also alleged that apart from not using the promised C2+50 per cent formula for calculating the MSP, the government was using last year's costs for arriving at the decision.
It also claimed that there was a "huge disparity" in cost calculation by Central and state agencies.
The AIKS, which has chalked out a mass 'Jail Bharo' campaign on August 9 and a 'Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally' on September 5, has called upon all "democratic" organisations and individuals to protest the "betrayal" by the BJP government.