New Delhi: Issues related to farmers have been contentious for quite some time in the country, particularly after the Union Government passed three farm reform laws in the Parliament in 2020 and was compelled to withdraw the laws after a sustained await action by some farmer groups.
While the government insists that it is taking all possible steps to improve the incomes of farmers, opposition parties and some farm groups insist that the government is paying mere lip service to the sector without actually doing anything concrete.
The farm groups who protested against the three laws were not satisfied with the withdrawal but want to pass a fresh law that will make it mandatory for all players, including those in the private sector, to compulsorily pay the minimum support prices to farmers.
Though the government has not listened to the demand, it has publicly committed that it will keep raising the MSP as and when needed on a regular basis.
It is as part of this commitment that the government announced increased MSP for 14 crops whose harvesting will be due later this year.
A majority of respondents covered during a nationwide survey conducted by C Voter on behalf of IANS were of the opinion that this move will help improve the incomes of farmers. While more than 559 per cent of the respondents were of this opinion, the rest felt that farmer incomes would not improve despite the higher MSP.
There was hardly any difference in the responses between rural and urban respondents. In virtually no category did a majority of more than 50 per cent feel that the move to hike MSP will not lead to higher incomes. Unusual heat waves and other weather conditions have prompted the government to estimate that production will be lower than the initially estimated 111 million tonnes.