MSP ISSUE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     14th February 2024        
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Context: Recently, farmers demanding enactment of a law guaranteeing minimum support prices (MSP) for all crops, as per the Dr M S Swaminathan Commission's formula, broke through police barricades and braved tear gas en route to Delhi.

The Committee

  • Establishment: The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare established a committee on July 18, 2022.
  • Objective: To promote Zero Budget Based Farming, alter crop patterns to align with the country's evolving needs, and enhance the effectiveness and transparency of Minimum Support Price (MSP).
  • Composition
  • Chairperson: The committee is led by Sanjay Agrawal, a former agriculture secretary.
  • Membership: NITI Aayog member (ii) two agricultural economists, (iii) an award-winning farmer, (iv) five representatives of farmers’ organisations other than the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), (v) two representatives of farmers’ cooperatives/ groups, (vi) one member of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), (vii) three persons from agricultural universities and institutions, (viii) five secretaries of the Government of India, (ix) four officers from four states, and (x) one joint secretary from the Agriculture Ministry.

SKM's Stand

  • Non-Participation: The SKM has chosen not to participate in the ongoing protest and did not join the committee despite allocated positions.
  • These microheadings provide a structured overview of the committee's establishment, composition, specific members, representation of farmers, and the current scenario with a focus on the SKM's involvement.

Purpose of Panel

  • Farm Laws Withdrawn: On November 19, 2021, the Prime Minister of India announced the government's decision to repeal the three farm laws:

oFarmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020

oFarmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020

oEssential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

  • Committee FormationA committee will be constituted to address key agricultural issues:

oPromotion of zero budget farming (natural farming)

oScientifically changing crop patterns to align with evolving national requirements

oEnhancing the effectiveness and transparency of Minimum Support Price (MSP).

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