State

BJD Krushak Samukhya stages dharna near Raj Bhavan over paddy MSP

Bhubaneswar: The farmers' wing of BJD, Biju Janata Dal Krushak Samukhya (BJDKS), today staged a dharna in front of the Raj Bhavan here protesting against Centre's refusal to hike minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.

Later, the party will submit a memorandum to the President of India through the Governor.

Meanwhile, during his three-day visit to national capital, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik participating in the 12th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council had urged for hike of minimum support price (MSP) for common paddy from Rs 1,470 per quintal to Rs 2,930 per quintal as non- remunerative MSP.

Several BJD leaders including Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera, Sanjay Das Burma and Pradeep Panigrahi were present at the dharna spot.

Notably, Union government had rejected Odisha government's demand for hike of the MSP of paddy earlier this month.

According to reports, the Union Agriculture Ministry had rejected Odisha's demand saying MSP hike is not feasible. Besides, it had said that the farmers should sell paddy in open market.

The State Assembly had on March 25 unanimously adopted a resolution recommending the state government to demand Centre for increasing MSP of paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal instead of Rs 1,550.

The State Assembly House committee had sought appointments with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier on two occasions, however, did not get any response to the letters, following which the House committee had held a meeting on November 17 under the chairmanship of Speaker of the Assembly Pradip Kumar Amat to take next course of action over the matter. During the meeting, it was decided to seek a fresh appointment with the PM to present its memorandum for hiking MSP of paddy.

The Central Government on June 20 had announced Rs 1,550 per quintal as the MSP of paddy for 2017-18 by hiking it by Rs 80. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had described the announcement as 'totally disappointing'.

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