Farmers Reject Govt’s MSP Proposal, To Resume ‘Delhi March’ from Wednesday

Chandigarh: The protesting farmers rejected the government’s proposal of a five-year contract to buy maize, cotton and three types of pulses at the old minimum support price. Along with it, they also declared to continue with their Delhi March again from Wednesday.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organisation of farmer unions which is not part of the current protests, also criticised the MSP proposal.

Addressing a press conference at the Shambhu border, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher declared that the MSP proposal is not acceptable to them and the protesting farmers will resume their march towards Delhi from Wednesday.

Laying out the reasons for rejecting the proposal, farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said, “The honourable minister said yesterday that if the government guarantees MSP on daals (split pulses), it will put an additional burden of Rs 1.5 lakh crore. A study by (former Agricultural Price Commission chairman) Prakash Kammardi has, however, revealed that the total cost will be Rs 1.75 lakh crore for all crops,” he added.

He also pointed out that the government spends Rs 1.75 lakh crore to import palm oil into the country, which is harmful to the health of the people. According to Dallewal, the same amount could be spent on helping farmers grow oilseeds, for which MSP could be declared.

“This will not help farmers. We have demanded MSP on 23 crops. The amount that is given is a ‘minimum’ support price, that helps with subsistence, not income. If they are not agreeing to a legal guarantee, it means that the farmers will continue to suffer. We have, thus, decided to reject the proposal,” he said.

Nearly 1 lakh farmers, backed by about 200 unions, had started their march on Delhi on February 13.

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