Centre's MSP hike is damage control move by govt to cover apathy, says Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil

Nagpur: Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil on Tuesday termed as a "damage control exercise" the Centre's move to hike the MSP of Kharif crops to 1.5 times the cost of production.

Initiating a debate on the problems faced by farmers due to delays in procurement of tur, Vikhe Patil said there was a difference between what is preached and practised by the government.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"The recent MSP hike is a damage control exercise by the government to cover its apathy towards farmers of the last four years. This is nothing but a damage control exercise on the eve of polls," Vikhe Patil said.

The Congress leader alleged the government was not aware about the cost of production of crops.

"The (Congress-JD(S)) government in Karnataka has announced a Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver for 39 lakh farmers which writes off their loans from December 2017. In contrast, the loan waiver in Maharashtra is complicated and so far only Rs 15,000 crore have been allotted to 37 lakh farmers," he said.

Joining the debate, NCP leader Ajit Pawar demanded the loan waiver should cover all 89 lakh farmers, as announced by the state government last year.

"Does the government want farmers to approach moneylenders? Why are farmers being denied the loan waiver? How will they get fresh loans for crops? he asked.

Pawar said 773 farmers in Beed district got crop insurance of just Rs 1, 649 farmers of Rs 2, and 772 farmers of Rs 4. " Are you making mockery of farmers? Farmers had paid crop insurance premium of Rs 51 lakh, but when they needed help due to failure of cops they were harassed in such a manner," the NCP leader said.

Pawar, a former deputy chief minister, demanded a separate law for awarding capital punishment to those who harass wives of farmers.

"Those involved in harassment of wives of farmers should be hanged to death," Pawar said while referring to two incidents wherein officials of a nationalised bank and a credit society in Buldhana and Yavatmal districts had sought sexual favours from wives of two farmers who had gone to seek crop loans.

"The government should ensure that such shameful incidents don't happen again. A new legislation prescribing capital punishment for those accused of such crimes should be enacted," he alleged.

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Updated Date: Jul 10, 2018 22:38:54 IST

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