Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said the NDA government was making efforts to double farmers’ income and lauded the announcement that minimum support price (MSP) would be raised to at least 1.5 times the production cost.
Paswan, addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the national executive meet of the Lok Janshakti Party farmers’ cell, said his party would continue to raise demands for farmers’ welfare, including the constitution of a ‘Kisan Aayog’.
He also said that since his party’s formation, he has been demanding special status for Bihar as it lost a lot of its resources due to the creation of Jharkhand.
Asked about Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav’s recent statement that the opposition’s doors are open for him, Paswan said, “Let the opposition doors be open, how does it matter (to me).”
Paswan, who is the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said a lot of efforts were being made by the NDA government to fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of doubling farmers’ income.
In this regard, he cited schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Sichai Yojna (irrigation scheme), the Fasal Bima Yojna (crop insurance scheme) and soil health card.
Paswan, in his remarks, also talked about the minimum support price for Kharif crop which is likely to be announced after the next Cabinet meeting.
He said the issue of raising MSP should not be seen as a step which would result in rise in prices, but should be seen from the point of view that the farmers make immense contribution to the economy.
Earlier, addressing the national executive, party MP and Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan said the time has now come to not just discuss farmers’ problems, but to solve them.
He called for the setting up of Kisan Aayog and asked party office-bearers to have a direct dialogue with farmers in their respective districts.
He also called for inter-linking of rivers to solve the problem of flooding and famine in Bihar.
Asked about Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the government’s implementation of agricultural policies, Paswan took a swipe at the Congress president, saying he must be talking about the UPA rule as the “new experience” is different.