Modi slams Rahul, boasts about hike in MSP in UP’s sugarcane belt; farmers’ body calls PM’s largesse an eyewash

Shahjahanpur: A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi brought up farmers’ woes in the Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Uttar Pradesh’s sugarcane belt Shahjahanpur, trying to appease the community.
The government recently decided to give 80 percent additional profit over the minimum support price (MSP) to sugarcane farmers,” he said.
During Friday’s debate on the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha, Gandhi had alleged that the Modi-led BJP government at the Centre had done little to improve the plight of the farming community.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at Shahjahanpur rally with other BJP leaders. Mohammad Asif/101ReportersPrime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at Shahjahanpur rally with other BJP leaders. Mohammad Asif/101Reporters
Modi countered the charge while addressing the gathering of over 50,000 farmers: “The present rate of sugarcane per quintal was Rs 155 and now the government has decided to raise it to Rs 275, which is 1.75 times the price being paid earlier to cane farmers. Even in case of less recovery of sugar, farmers will be paid Rs 261 per quintal.”
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) reacted to the prime minister’s ‘largesse’ by saying that the government was just misleading the community.In Shahjahanpur, the prime minister also declared that the government was trying to save money by allowing sugar mills to produce ethanol, for which monetary assistance was being given.“We have decided to mix petrol with ethanol, which will reduce the cost of bringing ethanol from other countries,” he said, adding, “Earlier, ethanol production in India was just 40 crore litres. Now, because of our efforts, production is (going to be) 160 crore litres by the end of this year.”Criticising the former governments at the Centre, the prime minister said that the production of ethanol was nothing new: “Modi koi naya idea lekar nahi aaya, bas niyat lekar aaya hai (Modi hasn’t come up with a new idea, but only intention).”
“Pehle niyat nahi thi, aur kisaano ki parwaah kisi ko nahi thi. Aur ye aaj se 15 saal pehle Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji ne shuru kiya tha, lekin uske baad ndoosri sarkaaron ne ispar kachue ki chaal se kaam kiya (Earlier, there was no intention to work, or concern for farmers. This was started 15 years ago by Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji but then other governments worked at a slow pace),” he said.
It may be mentioned that sugarcane dues in Uttar Pradesh stand at over Rs 10,000 crore at the moment, and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has not been able to keep the promise he had made last year of clearing cane dues within two weeks of assuming charge.Explaining further, he added: “The Swaminathan Commission recommended giving Rs 400 per quintal to cane farmers and yet Rs 275 per quintal has been announced. The farmers in Uttar Pradesh are already facing losses because they are not getting even the production cost of their crops and are forced to sell them at a lower price.”
According to Malik, cane farmers used to get Rs 250 per quintal when recovery was 9.5 percent (going by the old rate) and would now get Rs 275 for 10 per cent, which means the government has given a rise of just Rs 25 while the price of transportation and labour is surging by the day.