Govt hikes MSPs of paddy, pulses to boost output
In a major decision aimed at giving relief to farmers, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an increase in minimum support price (MSP) of <g data-gr-id="42">kharif</g> products, including paddy and pulses. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to increase the MSP of paddy by Rs 50 to Rs 1,410 per quintal for this year. The MSP is the rate at which government buys the grain from farmers.
Also, in view of a large surplus of cereals in contrast to huge deficit of pulses, the Cabinet made an exception and decided to give a bonus of Rs 200 per quintal for pulses over and above the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). With Rs 275 hike (including Rs 200 as <g data-gr-id="37">bonus</g>), the MSP of pulses has been increased to Rs 4,625 for the current fiscal year.
“This is expected to give a strong price signal to farmers to increase acreage and invest for increase in productivity of pulses,” Information Technology and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while announcing the decisions taken by Cabinet on Wednesday. The decision is based on recommendations of CACP for the price policy for <g data-gr-id="36">kharif</g> crops for the 2015-16.
“Various reports have shown that the Eastern belt of the country gets neglected in so far as procurement is concerned. Also, while the procurement mechanism is strong for rice and wheat, it needs to be improved for pulses and oilseeds. The Cabinet directed that the arrangements for procurement in the Eastern India be strengthened,” Prasad told reporters during media briefing.
According officials, the recommendations of CACP are generally accepted as such. The prices would be effective from October 1 this year and would increase investment and production through assured remunerative prices to farmers. The official release also said that despite deficient rainfall of 12 per cent during <g data-gr-id="50">kharif</g> during 2014-15 and unseasonal rain and hailstorm in the rabi season the total foodgrain production in the country has declined by only 5.3 <g data-gr-id="51">per cent</g> in 2014-15.
“This reflects the resilience of Indian agriculture and success of government’s efforts in managing shortfall of rain in last <g data-gr-id="52">kharif</g>. This year also government is fully prepared to meet contingency arising out of any shortfall in monsoon,” the release said, adding, “Contingency plans for 650 districts will be operationalised depending on progress of the monsoon.” Meanwhile, briefing media, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, “After inclusion of bonus, the MSP of tur and urad has been fixed at Rs 4,625 per quintal each for 2015-16, which is higher by Rs 275 per quintal from the last year. Similarly, the MSP of <g data-gr-id="54">moong</g> has been hiked by Rs 250 to Rs 4,850 per quintal for this year from Rs 4,600 per quintal in the 2014-15 <g data-gr-id="53">kharif</g> season.”
Among cash crops, the MSP of cotton has been raised by Rs 50 to Rs 4,100 per quintal for long staple and Rs 3,800 per quintal for medium staple cotton for 2015-16. .
Among other crops, CCEA has raised the MSP of <g data-gr-id="44">ragi</g> by Rs 100 per quintal to Rs 1,650 per quintal; jowar - Rs 40 per quintal to Rs 1,590; <g data-gr-id="43">bajra</g> - Rs 25 per quintal to Rs 1,275 and maize by Rs 15 per quintal to Rs 1,324 for 2015-16.
Among oilseeds, the MSP of sunflower seed has been increased by Rs 50 to Rs 3,800 per quintal from over the last year, while that of yellow <g data-gr-id="45">soyabean</g> price by Rs 40 to Rs 2,600 per quintal and groundnut MSP by Rs 30 to Rs 4,030 per quintal for 2015-16 <g data-gr-id="46">kharif</g> season. The MSP of sesamum seed has been raised by Rs 100 to Rs 4,700 per quintal and <g data-gr-id="47">nigerseed</g> to by Rs 50 to Rs 3,650 per quintal for this year.