Millennium Post

CCEA okays rabi crop MSP hike, defers wheat decision

Government on Thursday approved hike in the support price of five rabi crops such as gram and masur by upto 20 per cent for the next year starting April 2013, but no decision was taken on wheat prices.

'Except for wheat, the CCEA has approved the MSP of all other rabi (winter) crops. There will be a fresh cabinet note on wheat,' sources close to the development said.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved raising the minimum support price (MSP) of gram and masur by Rs 400 per quintal to Rs 3,200,each, for the 2013-14 marketing year (April-March).

The support price of these two pulses was fixed at Rs 2,800 per quintal, respectively, for this year.

The CCEA has agreed to raise the MSP of the two key pulses grown in the rabi (winter) season in order to reduce the country's dependence on import.

Among oilseeds, the cabinet approved increasing the MSP of mustard seed to Rs 3,000 per quintal for the 2013-14 marketing year from Rs 2,500 per quintal in 2012-13.

Similarly, safflower MSP has been raised to Rs 2,800 per quintal from Rs 2,500 per quintal in the review period.

Among cereals, the CCEA has okayed increasing the support price of barley to Rs 1,100 per quintal for 2013-14 from Rs 980 per quintal this year.

As against the recommendation of the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), the agriculture ministry had proposed higher support price for rabi crops. The ministry has accepted CACP's suggestion on mustard seed and safflower.

On wheat, CACP had recommended freezing of MSP at last year's level of Rs 1285 per quintal considering huge stock in the central pool. Even the food ministry had opposed the hike saying it would increase the procurement cost of the grain and food subsidy bill by an additional Rs 4,000-5,000 crore.

Despite opposition, the agriculture ministry took forward the proposal before CCEA seeking hike in the wheat MSP by Rs 115 per quintal to Rs 1400 for 2013-14, arguing that the CACP has not factored in the hike in diesel price by Rs 5 per litre, sources said.
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