The Congress on Sunday announced that it will procure paddy from farmers in Chhattisgarh at Rs 3,200 per quintal, higher than the amount that the Bharatiya Janata Party promised earlier this week.
On Friday, the BJP promised that it will procure paddy at Rs 3,100 per quintal if it comes to power in the state in the upcoming Assembly election.
The Congress government in the state currently purchases the crop at Rs 2,600 per quintal, a price that is already the highest in the country. In its poll manifesto released on Sunday, the party promised that farmers would get Rs 3,200 for every quintal of paddy. The amount will include an input subsidy under the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana, the manifesto said.
Under the scheme, the state government currently pays paddy farmers a bonus of Rs 600 per quintal over and above the Centre-mandated minimum support price. With over 24 lakh farmers eligible for this subsidy, paddy procurement rates are expected to significantly influence the results of the Assembly elections.
The Chhattisgarh elections will be held in two phases on November 7 and November 17. The results will be announced on December 3.
On October 23, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel promised that the Congress would waive farmers’ loans if it retains power. The party had promised to waive farmers’ loans during its 2018 poll campaign as well.
In its manifesto on Sunday, the Congress claimed that its government waived loans of 18.5 lakh farmers to the tune of Rs 9,272 crore.
The party also said that its government will procure 20 quintals of paddy per acre, up from the current figure of 15 quintals per acre.
The Congress also promised 200 units of electricity free, and a subsidy of Rs 500 on gas cylinders.
The BJP, in its manifesto on Friday, promised to make payments to paddy farmers in a single installment as against the four installments of the Congress government. It also assured that it will procure 21 quintals of paddy per acre from farmers.
The saffron party also promised cooking gas cylinders for Rs 500 to women from poor families and Rs 10,000 annual allowance to landless agricultural labourers.