Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa on Tuesday urged the Centre to fix the minimum support price for paddy at Rs.1,000 a quintal. In a statement here, she said while the Centre had fixed the MSP for wheat at Rs.1,000, it had fixed MSP for paddy at Rs.645.

Past records showed that the difference in MSP between wheat and paddy was only Rs.100 a quintal.

In the last two years, the Centre increased the MSP for wheat by Rs.150 to Rs.300 while for paddy it effected an increase of just Rs.50.

“Partisan attitude”

The “partisan attitude” had hurt paddy farmers in south India, especially Tamil Nadu.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said with all-round increase in prices of inputs such as power, fertilizers, labour and transport, farmers were incurring an expenditure of Rs.950 to Rs.1000 for producing a quintal of rice.

A majority of the farmers in the delta districts had left their land fallow as they were not getting remunerative price for their produce.

The Centre should understand the difficulties of the farmers and fix the MSP for paddy at Rs.1000, she said.