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Congress adopts resolution on making MSP for crops a legal right of farmers

The Congress on Sunday resolved to make minimum support price for crops a legally enforceable right of farmers with any purchase of agricultural produce below it a punishable offence.

farmers, punjab, agriculture, farming, farm, crops, produce, msp

Press Trust of India Nava Raipur (Chhattisgarh)
The Congress on Sunday resolved to make minimum support price for crops a legally enforceable right of farmers with any purchase of agricultural produce below it a punishable offence.
The party also said no criminal proceedings will be initiated against farmers over debt and no land will be auctioned to recover outstanding loans.
The party, in a resolution on farmers and agriculture adopted at its 85th plenary session here, also resolved to provide one-time immediate relief to farmers from indebtedness by bringing a debt waiver scheme to waive up to Rs 6 lakh each farmer.
"The Indian National Congress resolves that MSP (minimum support price) should be a legally enforceable right of the farmers. Purchase of agricultural produce below MSP be made a punishable offense," the party said.
"MSP should be calculated based on the C-2 cost plus 50 per cent profit as suggested by the Swaminathan Commission and subsequently recommended in the report of the Group of Chief Ministers headed by then Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in 2010," the party said.
Hooda was also chairman of the committee that presented the resolution on agriculture at the plenary session.
The Congress also said that it aspires to provide farmers at least 50 per cent of what the consumer is paying for the agriculture commodity.
"The Congress resolves that the National Farmer Debt Relief Commission will be set up to suggest ways and means to resolve debt-related grievances of farmers through conciliation and negotiation as is done in case of industrial loans. No criminal proceedings will be initiated and no land of the farmers will be auctioned to recover outstanding loans," the party said in its 63-point resolution.
It said that the party intends to make farmers debt free from the stage of loan waiver and pledged to provide one-time immediate relief through a debt waiver scheme to waive up to Rs 6 lakh each farmer.
The Congress also resolved to provide life insurance and health insurance of up to Rs 10 lakh to small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers at a minimum premium.
Noting that the much-touted crop insurance scheme of the BJP government is neither farmer friendly nor realistic, it said the scheme has turned out to be one to enrich private insurance companies.
"We resolve to redesign and revise the scheme to rectify all the deficiencies and make the insurance universal i.e the entire area under cultivation would be insured," the resolution said, adding that it will be operated by public sector companies which will charge a premium on principle of "no profit-no loss".
The Congress said it will create a revolving fund to compensate for farmers' loss and assessment of crop losses will be carried out by the government and not by insurance companies to ensure adequate and timely payment of compensation.
The party said the Chhattisgarh government launched Rajiv Gandhi NYAY Scheme, which has supplemented the income up to Rs 10,000 per acre and resolved to extend it to all farmers across the country.
The Congress resolved to expand and redesign MGNREGA and provide for increasing the wages and guaranteed days of employment and link the scheme with agricultural activities such as minor irrigation, restoring of water bodies, reclamation of waste land.
The party said it will consider introducing a separate pension scheme for the farmers and farm workers and will introduce the National Farmers Protection and Rights Act in line with the Consumer Protection Act to ensure that the rights of farmers are protected.
The Congress shall constitute a commission on marginal farmers and agriculture labourers to advise on policies and programmes that will help them to increase their income through dairying, poultry and other similar activities, the party said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 26 2023 | 8:27 PM IST

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