(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 05, 2010
AIKS Demands MSP for Paddy & Sugarcane
The following is the press statement issued by AIKS on November 24
THE All India Kisan Sabha notes with concern that despite repeated demands for providing remunerative prices for sugarcane, the Congress-led UPA government has been indifferent to them. Ironically termed “Fair and Remunerative Price” under the new system, in reality the prices are neither fair nor remunerative. Certain states which have fixed higher prices are facing a situation where the mill owners are refusing to pay the state advised price (SAP) citing the centrally fixed prices to be their only obligation. Crushing has not been taken up in sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh and the mill owners went to Allahabad High Court challenging the SAP. The central government is fully responsible for precipitating such a situation and putting farmers who are not getting fair and remunerative prices into further distress. As sugar mills are not taking up crushing farmers are also not able to clear their fields for beginning the sowing operations for the Rabi crop. AIKS demands stringent action against the erring sugar mill owners and immediate steps to begin crushing. Sugarcane prices should be fixed at a minimum of Rs 300/Qtl to make sugarcane cultivation a viable proposition.
AIKS also notes that the MSP for paddy has been repeatedly fixed way below the expectations of the farmers and not in keeping with the Dr Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations of C2+50 per cent. The present centrally fixed MSP is merely Rs 1000/Qtl while the market price is much higher. There is also a dearth of paddy procurement/purchasing centres in most states and the farmers are being denied even the MSP. Many states are witnessing a situation wherein the absence of procurement/purchasing centres is giving a free hand to private players who pay the farmers far below even the already low MSP. We demand that the MSP for paddy should be fixed at Rs 1500/Qtl for common and Rs 1600/Qtl for Grade A. The centre as well as state governments should take immediate steps to expand the network of paddy procurement centres and rectify the anomalies in payment of MSP to farmers.
We call upon the AIKS units to remain vigilant and unite the peasantry in protest against any effort to compromise farmers’ interests.