Leader of the Opposition in Haryana Assembly, Abhay Singh Chautala, on Tuesday, condemned the minimum support price (MSP ) for the kharif crops for the year 2018- 2019 as insufficient, meager and not matching with the cost of production.

Speaking to reporters at Gurugram, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader said a lot of trumpeting is being done by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to claim that an increase of Rs 200 per quintal for paddy amounts to giving the farmers fifty per cent profit over the cost of production.

But the truth was that by not taking into account the depreciation on farm implements, rentals and interest the BJP has changed the very foundation of the formula for calculating the cost of production and hence the MSP, he added.

Wondering how the government made this claim, Chautala said that the government’s own calculation of cost of production and recommended price for paddy exposes the claim made by it. By such claims the government is only adding insult to injury,he said reminding the government that by its own reckoning the cost of production for paddy for the year 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 was Rs 2074 and Rs 2657 per quintal respectively.

Accordingly, the Haryana government had recommended a price of Rs 2281 and Rs 2860 per quintal respectively for the two years. However, the MSP for the year 2017-2018 was fixed at Rs 1550 for normal variety and Rs 1590 for A-grade paddy, the INLD leader said.

Thus by enhancing it from Rs 1550 to Rs 1750 and Rs 1590 to Rs 1790, the government has not only failed to secure the price that it had recommended but also failed to even get the input cost, as calculated by it, for the farmers, Chautala said.

He said now after having fixed the MSP, the government did a reverse exercise to bring down the cost of production and thereby declare a fifty percent profit. This, he alleged was a miserable attempt to mislead and deceive the farmers, Chautala said.

He added that the reality was that during this period the cost of production has further increased with the spike in diesel prices, levying of GST on tractors, spare parts and other agricultural implements as well as taxes on fertilizers and pesticides.