**Bhubaneswar:** The Central Government has ignored the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee report while fixing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy, alleged Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik today.
The report had recommended a MSP of 50 per cent above the cost of production, which is classified as C2 by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). C2 covers all paid-out expenses, both in cash and in kind, incurred by farmers on seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, hired labour, fuel, irrigation, land revenue cesses, interest on working capital, rent paid for leased in land, interest on value of owned fixed capital assets and imputed value of family labour.
As per an estimate of the Odisha Government the C2 stands out at Rs 87,892 per hectare and Rs 2344 per qunital. Based on it a MSP of Rs 2930 was suggested keeping a minimum of 25 per cent margin over the cost of production. Despite of this the Centre has estimated the production cost as Rs 1362 and hiked the earlier MSP of Rs 1550 per quintal to Rs 1750 per quintal.
“The production costs of other States may be less as they may be using machinery for agriculture, whereas manual labour is hired in Odisha. I call upon the Union Agriculture Minister to see the cost of a labourer in reality. I will hold a discussion over the issue and will write to the Union Minister if needed and ask the Chief Minister to write a letter to the Prime Minister in this regard,” said Maharathy.
“The MSP has not been fixed as per a resolution passed in a all-party meeting held in the Odisha Assembly, neither has the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee been implemented. On what basis did the Centre fix the MSP is a matter of ridicule,” said Niranjan.
On the other hand, Odisha BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said, “Rs 1166 cost of production of paddy estimated by CACP is same for the whole country, it cannot differ for Odisha only. The MSP was fixed at Rs 1750 which is above 50 per cent the cost of production by which the Centre has kept its promise of hiking the MSP 1.5 times the cost of production.”
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