A day after the Prime Minister addressed “Kisan Kalyan Rally” (farmers’ welfare rally) at Malout in Punjab to mark the increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Kharif crops by the Centre, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday termed it politics of ‘meanest standard’.
In a statement, Sidhu said while the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party are patting their own back over MSP hike, in stark reality farmers haven’t got anything from it.
Terming SAD-BJP’s self-praise over MSP hike as mere ‘Jumlebaazi’ (empty rhetoric),the minister said the thanksgiving rally organized by the SAD-BJP combine for the Prime Minister was boycotted by the farmers signifies that the Union government has played a ‘mere game of statistics’ which has been smashed to smithereens by the farmers.
Detailing the facts about the increase in MSP of the crops, Sidhu said that it is being hyped by National Democratic Alliance government that the prices have increased 151 percent, but that is actually based on a formula known as A2 and FL.
In A2 are included the seeds of crops, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, rent of land, daily wagers, machinery expenditure etc whereas in FL the labour of the farmers family is also included.
Sidhu said the Union government is exaggerating the 151 per cent hike on A2 and FL whereas the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh effected 150-200 percent increase in A2 and FL during the last five years of its tenure.
He further said that this increase was 197 per cent in 2008-09, 207 per cent in 2009-10, 182 per cent in 2010-11, 161 per cent in 2011-12 and 148 per cent in 2012-13.
After NDA came to power, this increase never crossed 150 per cent, while during UPA rule it was over 200 per cent. He further said that now seeing the polls approaching this increase has been marginally extended to 151 per cent which has been publicised as a big victory whereas the UPA regime saw this increase being 56 per cent more.
Sidhu said that when the Prime Minister came for a rally in Bathinda during 2014 Lok Sabha polls then he had announced the implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
But now with more than four years time period lapsed, there has been no attempt by the Union government regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.