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RSS arm hits out at Niti Aayog for linking MSP to inflation

A year after it had castigated Niti Aayog for not articulating people’s aspirations in its policies, the SJM has said the Niti Aayog stand on MSP was ‘far from reality’.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 06, 2018, 07.51 AM IST
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RSS outfit’s senior functionary argued that MSP keeps farmers and farming alive owing to its push towards encouraging production.
RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has hit out at Niti Aayog, this time for linking minimum support price (MSP) to inflation.

Almost a year after it had castigated the government policy-making body for not articulating people’s aspirations in its policies, the SJM has said the Niti Aayog stand on MSP was ‘far from reality’ and not in line with report from experts.

SJM co-convener Ashwani Mahajan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, saying that appropriate action should be taken against Ramesh Chand, member agriculture of Aayog, if he fails to produce empirical study or provide stakeholders consultations to substantiate his view linking inflation to the MSP hike.

In the letter to Modi, Mahajan dubbed Chand’s assertion as “ill-informed and malicious”, and an “insult to the political leadership which has taken this great decision keeping the interests of farmers in mind.”

The RSS outfit’s senior functionary argued that MSP keeps farmers and farming alive owing to its push towards encouraging production.

Mahajan expressed reservation on the Niti Aayog report, Ensuring MSP Benefits for Farmers, for stating “the combined effect of the two Budget on farm-level prices will be about 15%. Transmission of this increase to wholesale and retail levels will have very strong implication for inflation and consumers”.

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“This is blatant lie and insult to the injury of farmers,” Mahajan wrote to PM. The SJM stated that the Niti Aayog report is “far from reality” since they could not arrive at similar conclusion during their discussion with various experts.

Drawing the attention of Modi, Mahajan said there are papers from sector experts that nullify Ramesh Chand’s claims. Gopakumar KU and V Pandit’s findings was that “higher MSP hasn’t turned inflationary as many would have expected it”. Similarly, he said IMF Working Papers 16/2 (Understanding India’s Food Inflation: The Role of Demand and Supply Factors) concludes that “MSPs in cereals do not have a lasting impact on inflation”.

Mahajan reiterated in his letter to PM the accusation SJM has made against the government think tank in the past.

“In the last three years, there are several evidence coming out of Niti Aayog which forces us to believe that the thinktank is pushing corporate agenda,” Mahajan stated.

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