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The Congress on Wednesday hit out at the government for increasing prices of fertilizers and said its DNA is “anti-farmer” despite its big promises to the farmers.
Randeep Surjewala, a Congress general secretary, said the price of a 50kg bag of Diammonium Phosphate, a fertiliser, was ₹1,075 in 2014 when the Bharatiya Janata Party was voted to power. He added it now costs ₹1,900. “This is the first time in 74 years that a government has increased the prices of fertilisers so drastically.” He asked the government to slash the prices of the fertilisers and stop exploiting the 620 million farmers.
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Surjewala said the Centre is currently levying 5%, 18%, 12%, and 12% Goods and Services Tax on fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural equipment and tractors. He also slammed the government for increasing the price of diesel by ₹21.22 in a year. “Apart from the raw material, what farmers need the most is diesel. By increasing the prices and imposing ₹28-37 as excise duty, the government is really torturing the farmers.” Surjewala cited estimates and said the price increase has put an additional burden of ₹20,000 crore on the farmers.
He said by increasing the prices of all raw material, passing three “black” farm laws last year, increasing the price of diesel and levying tax on agriculture, the government is proving that its DNA is anti-farmer. “The government is destroying the agricultural sector. This is a conspiracy to make the farmers slaves.”