The committee on Minimum Support Price (MSP) had a broad discussion on the mandated topics including making “MSP more effective and transparent” in its first meeting on Monday but Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) remained absent.
The committee, headed by former agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal, discussed on ways to “promote zero budget based farming”, to “change” crop patterns keeping in mind the changing needs of the country, and to make MSP more “effective and transparent”. There are 26 members including the chairman of the committee and three membership slots kept aside for representatives of SKM.
“A presentation was given on three topics which the committee is required to examine and recommend. What and how it needs to be done, which state government has done better so far and the successful models and learning — were discussed,” the committee member Binod Anand told PTI. Anand, who is holding the charge of general secretary at farmers’ group CNRI, said SKM representatives however were not present in the day-long meeting. Niti Aayog member Ramesh was also not present due to other engagements.
SKM, which necessitated setting up of this committee on July 18 after leading the farmers’ protest against three farm laws and forcing the government to repeal them, has already rejected this committee and decided not to nominate its representatives. While announcing the repeal of three farm laws in November last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to set up a committee to look into farmers’ MSP issues.
Other members who attended the meeting include: agri-economists CSC Shekhar from Indian Institute of Economic Development and Sukhpal Singh from IIM-Ahmedabad and Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) senior member Naveen P Singh. Among farmer representatives who attended the meeting were National award-winning farmer Bharat Bhushan Tyagi as well as Gunwant Patil, Krishnaveer Choudhary, Pramod Kumar Choudhary, Guni Prakash and Sayyed Pasha Patel. IFFCO chairman Dilip Sanghani was present.
Senior members of agricultural universities, central government secretaries and chief secretaries of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha were also present in the meeting.