New Delhi, May 19 : Describing the price rise of fertilizers as “unfortunate”, the Congress on Wednesday slammed the government saying that its DNA is anti-farmer and the price rise will lead to additional burden of Rs 20,000 crore on the farmers of the country.
Addressing a press conference here virtually, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government have decided to ruin the farming sector of the country. In reality, the BJP government has proved to be the enemy of the farmers.”
He said that it seems that the Modi government wants to enslave the 62 crore farmers of the country.
Surjewala said that as per the Agriculture census there are 14.64 crore farmers who cultivate 15.78 crore hectare of land. He said that the in the last six and half years the BJP government has already increased the cost of several items related to agriculture sector and added an additional pressure of Rs 15,000 per hectare.
Slamming the government, the Congress General Secretary said, “During the Covid pandemic, by increasing the price of the fertilizers the government has tried its best to break the spine of farmers.”
Earlier the government had brought the controversial farm laws, increased the cost of the fuel, tax on agriculture sector and no farm loan waiver to farmers, he said.
“The cheating with farmers in the name of crop insurance and now increasing the prices of fertilizers and putting an additional pressure of Rs 20,000 crore on farmers proves that the DNA of the BJP government is anti-farmers,” Surjewala said.
He said that the prices of the 50 kg packet of DAP fertiliser has been increased to Rs 1,900 as compared to Rs 1,200 earlier. “The steep price hike of Rs 700 per bag has never happened in last 73 years,” he said, adding that in 2020-21 about 93 lakh MT of fertilizer will be used and by increasing the prices the farmers will have to face an additional burden of Rs 13,020 crore.
He claimed that when a month ago the opposition parties raised the issue of price rise of fertilizers the ministers and BJP leaders shared videos and denied all such reports. “However, they increased the prices later from back door,” he said.
He also cited the example of the price of 50 kg packet of DAP and said in 2014, when the Congress-led UPA government left the office, the price was at Rs 1,075 while now the prices have been increased to Rs 1,900.
He said that similarly the Potash which used to cost Rs 450 during UPA government is now being sold at Rs 825 per packet.
He also claimed that the Modi government imposed the goods and services tax (GST) on agricultural products. He said on pesticides the government imposed 5 per cent GST while on other agricultural products the GST ranges between 12 to 18 per cent.
Attacking the government, Surjewala said that the government in last one year increased the prices of diesel by Rs 21.22 per liter, which is commonly used by farmers and also imposed additional excise duty of 28.37 per cent.
Surjewala demanded the government should immediately withdraw the increase in the price of the fertilizers.