Sitharaman mounts veiled attack on Congress over MSP

Union Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman on Tuesday made a veiled attack on Congress vis-a-vis the new farm legislations, saying those who did not evenprovide Minimum Support Price (MSP) for commodities other thanpaddy and wheat were now raising unreasonable apprehensions.

Stoutly defending the new farm laws of the Centre, shesaid these legislations came under the ambit of the uniongovernment and it covered inter-state farm trade.

On apprehensions that MSP may be scrapped by thegovernment, she said: “I find that absolutely unreasonable tokeep speculating on it and say that this is the concern of thefarmer.” Addressing a press conference here, the minister said:”MSP is there, it was there and it shall continue to bethere.” Under “certain other governments” the focus was only ongiving and increasing MSP for paddy and wheat and they did notbother about other crops, she said.

Though 20-23 items were covered under the MSP regime,”those who gave” support price only for paddy and wheat andnot for other crops were today crying foul raisingapprehensions that the government maydo away with the systemof MSP and it was surprising, she said, in an apparentreference to Congress and others protesting against theCentres measures.

Only after the BJP took over the reins of power in 2014,the MSP was extended to other crops beyond wheat and paddy byPrime Minister Narendra Modi.

Though approximately 23-24 lakh tonnes of pulses wereneeded, onlyabout 16 lakh tonnes were produced and theremaining was imported, she said adding MSP was given toother crops as well to reverse such a scenario by the NDAgovernment.


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