12 April, 2021

Not A Crumb Of Comfort

Free food to the poor is a noble move. But didn’t rotting surplus stocks in FCI silos prompt it?

Not A Crumb Of Comfort
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

September 5. Farmers gather in thousands in Chandigarh to protest the delayed procurement and poor price realisation. Police burst teargas shells, even wield lathis as the peaceful rally suddenly breaks through the cordon to gherao the Punjab assembly.

At Khanna - Asia’s largest grain market - where rice prices are ruling around Rs 330-440 a quintal, marginal farmer Baldev Singh sits holding his head in his hands. His yield was excellent and produce of the best quality, yet he was forced to sell his stock at much below the government-announced msp (minimum support price) of Rs 540.

On the outskirts of Delhi, two months after the procurement season is over, wheat is being sold at Rs 530-540 a quintal to roller flour mills, compared to the msp of Rs 580 at which it was bought.

It wasn’t possibly a direct outcome of the banner heading in a daily on September 4, but the bjp government may well be accused of fiddling while farmlands burnt. If wholesale wheat prices hadn’t crashed till then, even after rabi...

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