Coming down on the TDP government for its apathy towards tobacco farmers, YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has demanded that State should compensate the farmers as they had to sell the produce at a lower price than the MSP.
“While the Governments - State and Centre - did not take proper measures to procure tobacco during the season, from January to June, stocks are piled up with the farmers and they had to resort to distress selling at a much lower price than that of the MSP,” the Leader of the Opposition said while addressing a dharna programme at the Tanguturu Tobacco Auction Centre at Tangutur in Prakasam district on Wednesday.
Even graded tobacco is not getting MSP as the auction is delayed and the produce getting decoloured with the moisture due to rains, he pointed out. “This shows the apathy of the State towards tobacco farmers, who are running from pillar to post to secure loan as they became defaulters with Chandrababu Naidu going back on his promise of loan waiver. As a result, the extent of cultivation is also coming down,” he said.
When the extent of cultivation comes down, as per natural market dynamics, the prices of tobacco should go up but in this State it is otherwise and the main reason is the faulty policy of the government. The State has announced that it will ensure that the price would be a minimum of RS 67 per kg but due to its inaction the produce is sold at a paltry Rs 34 per kg. While it takes three months to harvest the crop, it is taking more than ten months to sell the produce, he said and demanded that the difference amount should be compensated by the State.
“Had the State purchased the 30 million tons produced by allocating Rs 400 crores, the situation would not have taken such an ugly turn,” YS Jagan pointed out.
In a moment of crisis, YS Rajasekhar Reddy had ensured that the tobacco produce was purchased by the Government to ensure that farmers get the MSP time and again but Chandrababu Naidu has never been in a mindset to help the farmers, he said. It is not just tobacco but the prices of all agriculture produce, including palm oil, turmeric, sugarcane and others are falling down and the State has been very indifferent to the farmers’ issues, he said.
“We will continue to fight all the anti-people policies of the Government and by alienating all sections of people the days of the Government are numbered and the people will vent their ire in a pronounced manner,” he said and assured that YSR Congress will stand for the cause of farmers and will always be in the forefront to fight such injustice.