Direct Income Support over MSP? Maybe, Not!

क्यों रुला रहा प्याज़?

प्याज़ के दाम एक बार फिर आसमान छू रहे हैं. सरकार को प्याज़ के स्टॉक लिमिट तय करने से लेकर आयात तक...

हरियाणा में बाजरा खरीद में तेजी लाएगी सरकार, योगेंद्र यादव बोले रंग लाई कोशिश

किसान आंदोलन के बीच हरियाणा में बाजरा किसानों को तमाम मुश्किलों का सामना करना पड़ा रहा है। कहीं खरीद में देरी तो...

प्याज की कीमतों में उछाल जारी, केंद्र सरकार ने तय की स्टॉक लिमिट

देश में प्याज की कीमतें एक बार फिर आसमान छू रही हैं। खुदरा बाजार में प्याज की कीमत 70 से 90 रुपये...

बिहार चुनाव: क्या केंद्र में हैं किसान ?

बिहार में विधान सभा चुनाव की सरगर्मी के बीच किसान के मुद्दे कितने हावी हैं, कृषि क़ानून को लेकर क्या राय है,...

केंद्रीय कृषि कानून और पंजाब के कृषि विधेयकों में क्या है अंतर, समझिए कुछ प्वाइंट्स में

केंद्र सरकार के कृषि कानून के खिलाफ पंजाब विधान सभा के विशेष सत्र में कुल चार विधेयक पारित किए गए। मुख्यमंत्री कैप्टन...

The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) has suggested a crop-neutral Direct Income/Investment Support (DIS) claiming it to be better than making procurements at Minimum Support Price(MSP).

In a research paper authored by Ashok Gulati, Tirtha Chatterjee and Siraj Hussain the group advocates for direct compensation to farmers on the basis of cultivated acreage, wherein a farmer is paid a certain amount, ( for examples, Rs 10,000 per hectare), no matter what crop they grow or to whom they sell to.

The group has based their recommendation on their claim that the execution of newly proposed PDPS along with providing MSP at A2+FL will entail huge monetary burden for the Government. The report states that both the latter provisions do not take the demand side of agricultural production into consideration and can disrupt the market.
The report says, “if DIS happens to be implemented at all India level, it may not be cheaper but it certainly will not accentuate market distortions and its associated efficiency losses, and it would be much more inclusive and equitable, as well as transparent.”

It is noteworthy that Telangana and Karnataka are mulling to award Rs 10,000 per hectare, per season, to its farmers. However, Karnataka’s plan to implement DIS is targeted to only dry land farmers.

The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) has suggested a crop-neutral Direct Income/Investment Support (DIS) claiming it to be better than making procurements at Minimum Support Price(MSP).

In a research paper authored by Ashok Gulati, Tirtha Chatterjee and Siraj Hussain the group advocates for direct compensation to farmers on the basis of cultivated acreage, wherein a farmer is paid a certain amount, ( for examples, Rs 10,000 per hectare), no matter what crop they grow or to whom they sell to.

The group has based their recommendation on their claim that the execution of newly proposed PDPS along with providing MSP at A2+FL will entail huge monetary burden for the Government. The report states that both the latter provisions do not take the demand side of agricultural production into consideration and can disrupt the market.
The report says, “if DIS happens to be implemented at all India level, it may not be cheaper but it certainly will not accentuate market distortions and its associated efficiency losses, and it would be much more inclusive and equitable, as well as transparent.”

It is noteworthy that Telangana and Karnataka are mulling to award Rs 10,000 per hectare, per season, to its farmers. However, Karnataka’s plan to implement DIS is targeted to only dry land farmers.

Report mum on small, landless farmers

As the ICRIER report tries to prove the legitimacy of providing DIS on the basis of land holding on per hectare over procurements at MSP and implementing PDPS, it remains silent on how DIS will benefit small and landless farmers which compromise the biggest chunk in India. As per Agriculture Census 2010-11, nearly 67 percent of India’s farmland is held by the marginal farmers with holdings below one hectare, against less than one percent in large holdings of 10 hectares and above. The census also reports that the average size of these holdings has been showing a declining trend over various Agriculture Censuses since 1970-71, with the average land holding being 1.15 hectare.

Interestingly, the report also recommends digitizing land records and mandatory linking of Aadhar for farmers to be compensated under DIS. However, the benefits of linking Aadhar are being contested by various groups. Not to forget, with the Government making Aadhaar linkage mandatory with social welfare schemes reports of people dependent on such schemes, starving to death are on the rise.

Photo :All India Kisan Sabha

Questioning the feasibility of the income transfer scheme, Himanshu, Associate Professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), underlined, “the idea of DIS might be a good one, but it does not hold true in a country like India. The agricultural sector here is quite complex, there are too many landless as well as tenant farmers in our country.” He further stressed, “DIS must be provided on the basis of what the farmers are cultivating and not necessarily on the basis of their land holding, as different crops might require different assistance.”

While the report vouches for the benefits that Direct Income/Investment Support scheme holds for the government, farmers, and the agricultural market as a whole, farmers’ leaders, and other agricultural policy researchers have raised their apprehensions over the scheme,

“Direct income support is a hollow idea, it does not benefit the distressed farmers in any which way”, Hannan Mollah, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) told Hind Kisan as herejected the claims made by the ICRIER report.

Rakesh Tikait, Bahujan Kisan Dal leader, appeared rather hopeful on DIS and said “We don’t mind if the government compensates farmers through direct cash transfer, as it would cover under its ambit all the farmers, irrespective of their produce.”

However, he did not rule out the benefits of procuring at MSP as he stressed that the government must either ensure 1.5 times MSP at C2 cost for all the 24 notified crops instead of just wheat and paddy or at least compensate farmers through direct income support.

Citing examples of certain crops, the report warned that providing 1.5 times MSP at A2+FL would create heavy turbulence in the market. For example, the provison would increase the market price of paddy for 2018-19 kharif season by 11 to 14 percent, cotton by 19 to 28 percent, and that of jowar by 42 to 44 percent. With the market appearing favorable for crops such as paddy, cotton and jowar, farmers might find it profitable to take cultivation of these three crops, increasing its production significantly. In the absence of commensurate demand, market prices may fall way below the announced MSP necessitating large scale procurement at MSP or large payments through PDPS and neither would be economically rational, the report says.

India is not China

The report also tries to justify its recommendations refers to the Comprehensive Input Subsidy Scheme, which has been successfully implemented by China, and is quite similar to DIS. Under the Chinese subsidy scheme, an aggregate input support is granted to the farmer on a per acre basis. The Chinese government has launched a slew of subsidy scheme and finally clubbed them all together into a single payment scheme.

But, such a comparison between India and China seems redundant considering that both countries have different agrarian economic policies. Professor Himanshu points out, “China’s agricultural system is different than that of India, it has land reforms, and it is a country where land records are properly maintained both by the government and the farmers.”

It is hard to pass off these suggestions made by the ICRIER just as recommendations as the government is already dolling out direct monetary compensation. It has replaced subsidy with direct payments in providing various scholarships, LPG cylinders and some health-related schemes. Currently, it is experimenting with providing Direct Benefits Transfer(DBT) in Public Distribution Scheme which provides subsidized food under the Food Security Act.

लोकप्रिय

कृषि विधेयकों के खिलाफ किसान आंदोलनों के बीच फसलों की एमएसपी में इजाफा

कृषि से जुड़े विधेयकों को लेकर किसान लगातार आंदोलन कर रहे हैं. विपक्ष संसद से पारित हो चुके इन विधेयकों को किसान...

कृषि कानूनों के खिलाफ 25 सितंबर को भारत बंद 

कृषि से जुड़े तीनों विधेयक भले ही संसद से पारित हो गए हों लेकिन किसानों ने इनके खिलाफ आंदोलनों को और तेज...

क्या एमएसपी के ताबूत में आखिरी कील साबित होंगे नए कृषि विधेयक

कोरोना संकट और लॉकडाउन के बीच मोदी सरकार ने जिस अफरा-तफरी में तीनों कृषि अध्यादेशों लाई, इन्हें विधेयक के रूप में संसद...

Related Articles

कॉन्ट्रैक्ट फार्मिंग से किसे फायदा?

कॉन्ट्रैक्ट फार्मिंग यानी ठेका खेती, मोदी सरकार ने हाल ही में मूल्य आश्वासन और कृषि सेवाओं पर किसान (सशक्तिकरण और संरक्षण) समझौते-2020...

क्यों फसल बीमा से किसान ही नहीं, राज्य सरकारें भी पीछा छुड़ा रही हैं?

किसानों को खेत में फ़सलों की बुआई से लेकर उसकी कटाई तक तमाम जोखिमों से सुरक्षा देने वाली मोदी सरकार की फ़्लैगशिप...

मंडियां नहीं बचेंगी तो क्या होगा?

राज्यों ने एग्रीकल्चर मार्केटिंग प्रोड्यूस कमेटी यानी एपीएमसी एक्ट के तहत मंडियों को बनाया जिनसे किसानों को बड़ी सहूलियतें मिली हैं। मंडियों...