Has UPA's MSP policy paid off?

Has UPA's MSP policy paid off?

The Congress returned a spectacular show in the wheat-    and rice- growing states  of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Against 28 seats in these states in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, the party has bagged a whopping 71 seats adding 43 seats to its kitty.

Indeed these five states which are also termed the food bowl of the country, received the highest benefit from the schemes announced by the UPA Government.

The UPA Government had announced MSP of Rs 1,080 per quintal for wheat and Rs 875 per quintal for paddy, which is on an average Rs 30 to 40 higher than the market price.

Good monsoon

Farmers who have seen bumper harvest due to good monsoon in the last two years, took advantage of it by selling foodgrain to government trading agency Food Corporation of India instead of selling it in the open market.

Union Agriculture and Food Minister Sharad Pawar always credited the increase of food  grain to surplus 229.85 million tonne in 2008 from 203 million tonne in 2005 to the schemes implemented by the UPA Government.

Surplus stock

The food stock in the country is virtually swelling as  the Food Corporation of India has already stocked 13.4 million tonne wheat against the required 11.4 million and  21.6 million tonne rice against the required 11.2 million tonne.

Managing the stock is one of the biggest challenges of the new government as it has to take proper steps for its disposal before it gets rotten in the godowns, says officials.
DH News Service

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