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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Catalyst for GDP growth, not a burden on budget: Rahul Gandhi's reminder to PM Modi on MSP

The Congress leader said: 'A country where Rs 14 lakh crore bank loan was written off and tax relief of Rs 1.8 lakh crore was given to corporate, why has a small expense on farmers become such a contentious issue?'

Sanjay K. Jha New Delhi Published 21.02.24, 06:29 AM
Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra inRae Bareli on Tuesday.

Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra inRae Bareli on Tuesday. PTI picture

Rahul Gandhi has asked why the Narendra Modi government, which allegedly wrote off loans totalling Rs 14 lakh crore taken by the rich and gave Rs 1.8 lakh crore annual tax relief to corporates, was so reluctant to spend a little on farmers.

In a message posted on social media platform X, the former Congress president said: “The Modi-friendly media and his propaganda machinery have rained lies on MSP (minimum support price) ever since the Congress has promised legal guarantee for MSP. The claim that giving legal guarantee for MSP is not possible given the budgetary constraints is a lie.”

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Rahul added: “The truth is that giving MSP in 2022-23 to farmers would have required an additional Rs 21,000 crore, which is merely 0.4 per cent of the budget, according to an estimate by CRISIL (a global analytics company). A country where Rs 14 lakh crore bank loan was written off and tax relief of Rs 1.8 lakh crore was given to corporate, why has a small expense on farmers become such a contentious issue?”

Many pro-establishment experts have mentioned Rs 10 lakh crore to Rs 15 lakh crore as the cost burden on the national exchequer if the MSP is offered on all crops. The farmers’ unions have debunked this assessment and Rahul has now argued that robust agricultural growth will rev up the economy. He said: “The MSP guarantee will encourage investment in agriculture. This will boost rural demand and also encourage the diversification of crops. This will become a guarantee for national prosperity. Those who are spreading misconceptions about the MSP are insulting the dreams of M.S. Swaminathan. With an MSP guarantee, India’s farmers will become the catalyst for GDP growth, not a burden on the budget.”

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