The centre on Monday, November 30, released data to counter the "flawed narrative" around the new farm laws against which farmers in and around the national capital have been protesting over the past many days.
The Union Agricultural Ministry released information on issues, including minimum support price (MSP), procurement, and farmers' welfare, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's regime.
Since the controversial farm ordinances received the President's approval on June 5 this year, there has already been a 40% spike in MSP for urad (now at ₹ 6,000) during financial year 2020-21, centre said. The figure for masur, similarly, has surged by 73% to ₹ 5,100, the ministry data showed
The government said that it disapproves the myth that the new laws have scrapped the MSP system, NDTV reported.
The government claims, in total, there has been an 11-fold spike in the its farm budget from ₹ 12,000 crores in financial year 2009-10 to ₹ 1,34,000 crore in 2020-21, with 42 lakh farmers being paid out ₹ 73,500 crore.
Data related to crop procurement, released by the government showed, "Over 32.12 Lakh MT of paddy procured from 2.83 lakh farmers with MSP outflow of ₹ 6,065.09 crore as on October 9, 2020".
Similarly, in Rabi 2020, the MSP procurement of wheat, paddy, oil seeds, and pulses together amounted to ₹ 1.13 lakh crores, up 31 per cent from 2019. Procurement of wheat for rabi 2020 touched an all-time high of 382 lakh MT and its MSP has increased from ₹ 1,450 per quintal to ₹ 1,925 in the past five years.
The ministry said that the new farm laws have only introduced a new framework and now depends on the farmers' choice.
Over the past five days, thousands of farmers across the country, especially in Punjab, have been protesting against the centre's new contentious new laws, seeking its immediate withdrawal.
Three bills - Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 - were passed in September.
The centre claims that the new farm laws will improve farmers' income by allowing them to sell produce anywhere in the country. The contentious bills which farmers say are "anti-farmer", aim to provide a barrier-free trade for farmers' produce outside notified farm mandis and to empower farmers into farming agreements with private players prior to production for sale of agri-produce.
However, the farmers claim that the laws could lead to the government stopping the system of buying grain at minimum support price (MSP).
Soon after the bills received the President's nod, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said: "I want to assure everyone that the bills have nothing to do with MSPs. MSPs were there and will continue. I would request everyone to reconsider their views on the farm bills. The two bills are historic and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers. The farmers will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere in the country."
Later, Prime Minister Modi had said that there is an attempt by the opposition to mislead the farmers of the country with false news and data.