The state government’s share in the support price of paddy procured from farmers is at an eight-year low. This is while the central government share is steadily increasing on the other hand. If the state government had also given the annual increase implemented by the Center in the last eight years, the paddy farmers in Kerala would have received Rs 33.30 as procurement price. If you look at it like that, the farmer loses 5.10 rupees per kg. Let’s see how in detail.
Support Price Contribution: 2015-16
In the financial year 2015-16, the support price of paddy was Rs.21.50. Of this, the central government’s share was Rs.14.10 crore. The state government’s was Rs 7.40. This means that during 2015-16, 67.44 percent of the total paddy procurement price distributed to the farmers was contributed by the central government. The state government’s contribution to the support price was only 32.56 percent.
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Support Price Contribution: 2023-24
As in the previous years, there has been an increase in the central allocation this time as well. The central share in paddy procurement price for the period 2023-24 has been increased by Rs 1.43 to Rs 21.83. But in the current financial year (2023-24), the price fixed by Supplyco for procurement of paddy from the farmers of the state is Rs 28.20.
Since the total procurement price of paddy remained unchanged from the previous period (2022-23) and the share of the central government increased, the contribution of the central government to the current total support price has increased to 77.96 per cent. The share of the state government has come down to 22.04 percent of the total support price. Looking at the history of the last eight years, the state government’s contribution to the total procurement cost of paddy is at its lowest level.
Declining state share
Only twice in the last eight fiscal years has the state government increased its contribution to the support price of paddy. The state’s share was last increased in 2019-20. The state share increased from Rs 7.80 to Rs 8.80 on that day. During 2020-21 as well, the state government share remained at Rs 8.80 crore. But it can be seen that the state’s share has been falling steadily for the last three years.
Meanwhile, the state government’s share of this year’s (2023-24) paddy procurement price has come down to Rs 6.37 crore. During the financial year 2015-16, the state’s share towards procurement price of paddy was Rs.7.40 crore. In short, the state’s contribution to the support price of paddy has declined by 14 per cent in the last eight years. During this period, the state share in support price has come down from Rs.7.40 to Rs.6.37.
This time cut
While the central government’s share of the support price to paddy farmers has been increased (from Rs 20.40 to Rs 21.83) for the period 2023-24, the state government’s share has not been increased commensurately. Not only this, the existing contribution (from Rs. 7.80 to Rs. 6.37) has been reduced and the procurement price of paddy has been kept unchanged this year. On the other hand, if the state government had maintained last year’s allocation this time too, paddy could have been procured from the farmers of the state at Rs 29.63.
A rising central share
During 2015-16, the central government’s allocation for paddy procurement was Rs.14.10 crore. From there to the current financial year, the central share has gone up to Rs 21.83. It can be seen that the central government’s share towards the support price of rice has been increased in all the last eight financial years. An annual increase of more than one rupee has been implemented three times. In short, there has been an increase of 54.82 percent in the central allocation for paddy storage during the last eight years. In short, if the share of the state government had increased in proportion to the increase implemented by the central government, the current procurement price of rice would have been Rs 33.30 per kg. The farmer loses Rs 5.1 per kg.