BJP Demands All-Party Meet on Farmers’ Issues - The New Indian Express

BJP Demands All-Party Meet on Farmers’ Issues

Published: 01st January 2014 10:20 AM

Last Updated: 01st January 2014 10:20 AM

Accusing the State Government of going slow on paddy procurement triggering distress sale of the major kharif crop, the BJP on Tuesday demanded an all-party meeting to address the problems of the farmers.

The Government has betrayed the farmers by making them wait for days at the market yards for procuring their paddy.

 Farmers coming from far-off places to sell their produce are not provided night shelter and the mandis do not have sufficient space to stock paddy.

 Even polythene sheets are not provided to cover their paddy stock, senior BJP leader Manmohan Samal told repoters at a media conference here.

Even though the Government has decided in principle to procure all harvested paddy from the farmers, it does not seem interested in doing so, as huge quantity of paddy is lying in mandis and farmers uncertain when their turn will come for sale.

The death of a farmer at Mundrabeda mandi under Junagarh block in Kalahandi districts last year is a grim reminder of the Government apathy towards the farmers, the former minister said. Rejecting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s announcement of special calamity assistance of `100 on every quintal of paddy procured by Government agencies, Samal said that special assistance is an attempt to hoodwink the farmers.

The special assistance will be available till April 30, while the BJP is demanding a bonus of `500 on every bag (100 kg) of paddy for the current kharif marketing season.

The minimum support price (MSP) of `1,310 per quintal of paddy announced by the Centre is not acceptable in view of the huge input cost involved in paddy cultivation, Samal said and reiterate his party’s demand for a bonus of `500 per bag.

Since the neighbouring Chhattisgarh Government is providing a bonus of `300 per quintal of paddy, the Odisha farmers deserve more due to crop loss and damage by cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods, he said.

A former minister for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, Samal lambasted the Government for the poor infrastructure facilities in the markets yards of Regulated Market Committees (RMCs).

The RMC takes two percent of the total sale amount for infrastructure development and to provide basic facilities in the market yards. However, the RMCs are not developing the basic infrastructure even though thousands of crore rupees are lying idle, said Samal.

Stating that imposition of VAT on interstate movement of rice has proved counter to the State’s economy, Samal demanded its withdrawal as is done by the neighbouring States.

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