Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday said there cannot be two different policies for farmers and businessman even as he demanded assured 50 per cent profit for agricultural commodities.
“Nobody knows the production cost of cars and the profit margin by the companies. Farmers cannot decide the production cost of their crops. Farmers should get Minimum Support Price (MSP) of 1.5 times the input cost. It should be neither less nor more,” Paswan, the chief of the Lok Janshakti Party, told reporters on the sidelines of National Executive of his party’s farmer cell.
He welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent announcement of 50 per cent profit to the notified crop produce.
“(A) Policy decision has been taken to double farmers’ income and MSP of 1.5 times (the input cost). A committee is working on it (price fixation),” said Paswan, but refused to divulge much about the formula to be used to fix the MSP.
To a query on anticipated impact of higher MSP on inflation, he asked why only this issue was being raised when there was silence on the rising prices of other commodities.
“Is there anything that has not become costly? Be it cars or houses. However, the crop prices have been stagnant in last five years,” he said, adding that the government will take care of the expenditure on higher MSP.
Paswan also said that the government was “aware” of the delay in paying claims under crop insurance schemes by private insurance companies.
“We are alert this time,” he said.