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Modi Govt’s PM-AASHA Scheme Flops, Farmers Incur Losses Of Rs 1,149 Cr In Just Three Weeks

According to PM Modi, the PM-AASHA scheme was a step towards 'doubling' the income of farmers.

The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has calculated that in just the first three weeks of the season, farmers have incurred losses of Rs 1,149 crore due to the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) scheme’s failure to ensure that crops are sold at the Minimum Support Price.

Launched amid much hype, the PM-AASHA scheme, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was a step towards ‘doubling’ the income of farmers.

However, cerals, pulses and grains are selling well below the MSP in mandis, barely above production costs. According to a report in The Hindu, agricultural ministry officials admit that the scheme will make no difference to the farmers’ income.

The scheme was approved on September 12, 2018, in a meeting chaired by the prime minister.

“When the market price is more than 15% below MSP [the margin that the Centre offered to reimburse under the scheme], why will any traders step in? They are not fools,” Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj India and AIKSCC member, told The Hindu. “The government took seven months to decide on [PM-AASHA]. Now it’s a non-starter,” he added.

farmers
(Photo:Twitter/@_YogendraYadav)

The AIKSCC used data from the government’s Agmarknet website that records prices at all major mandis across the country and found that moong, tur and urad dal were being sold at a price barely above the production cost. The production cost is calculated by paid out costs and the imputed cost of family labour.

The difference between the MSP and the actual price at which the crops were being sold, was then multiplied by the quantity of crop that has arrived at the mandis in the first 24 days of October, to arrive at the loss figure of Rs 1,149 crore.

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