The Modi government has decided to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Kharif crops. The increase in MSP suggests that the government is working to fulfill its promise of ‘doubling farmer’s income’. As per the PTI report, the MSP for common variety paddy, the most important Kharif crop will be raised by Rs 200 over last year’s Rs 1,550 per quintal, which is 13 percent increase from the MSP in the previous financial year. Agriculture Secretary Shobhana Pattanayak said that “upholding its budget promise, the cabinet has ensured that the MSP for the Kharif season is 50 percent above the cost of production.” The cost of production is decided as ‘A2 + FL’, which is the actual cost plus imputed value of family labor respectively.
The Congress and some sections of the mainstream media were spreading lies that the government will take into account only the input costs and not the family labor to calculate the cost of production. PM Modi made a public announcement that the government is taking both input costs and family labor into account in calculating the cost of production. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that no other government has ever announced such large MSP hikes in the interest of farmers. The additional government spend on account of the higher MSPs will be to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore.
The year-on-year jump in MSP for most other Kharif crops has also been far steeper than the annual increases announced over the last three years.
The agriculture sector was hit hard due to successive drought for two years in the country just after the Modi government came to power. The government took active steps to minimize the effects of drought and launched many schemes for the benefit of farmers. To make farmers financially secure in the case of poor crop growth, the government launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY). To provide irrigation facilities to farmers across the country, PM Modi launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) and pumped money into the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to increase credit penetration to farmers. The efforts by the Modi government brought positive results in the field. Economic Survey 2017 predicted an agricultural growth of 4.1% for the fiscal year 2017-18. The prediction got vindicated when data released by the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) showed that the agriculture sector is reviving at a good pace. In the last quarter of the fiscal year 2017-18, growth in the sector was 4.5 percent. This shows a healthy revival in agriculture with the Rabi season being productive for farmers.
The positive results during the Rabi season were much appreciated by people and the government. In the Kharif season, the crop is expected to be better than the previous year and with the government’s decision to raise MSP, the farmers will earn a good income. The good crop and betterment in the condition of farmers will help BJP in getting votes from the rural population. The BJP government will be going into elections in less than one year and the main problem for the government is to end rural distress. With the hike in MSP and a prediction of good monsoon season, it is expected to be a good year for farmers which will help in ending rural distress. The party is already performing exceptionally well among rural populations, and if its tally increases in rural constituencies, it will sweep the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with a huge majority.