Indian government approves moderate increase in minimum support price for winter crops
New Delhi, Oct 30:
The government has effected a moderate Rs 50 per quintal increase in the minimum support price (MSP) for the wheat crop to be sent to markets from April 1, 2015.
The MSP for wheat for rabi or winter season has been fixed at Rs 1,450 per quintal, as against Rs 1,400 for the 2013-14 crop. The increase is less than what used to be granted during much of the previous UPA regime’s tenure.
The government procuring agencies such as FCI and state government owned agencies had purchased 28 million tonne (mt) of wheat from farmers during the 2014-15 marketing season.
In 2010-11, the MSP was raised by Rs 70 per quintal, while amounting to Rs 115 in 2011-12 and Rs 65 in 2012-13. Only in the UPA’s last year (2013-14), the MSP increase was limited to Rs 50 per quintal.
“There was no scope to increase this time, especially given the sharp drop in global prices in the last one year. From now on, we will continue to see only marginal MSP increases”, a senior official said.
The BJP government had effected a moderate MSP increase for even this year’s paddy crop — from Rs 1,310 to Rs 1,360 for common varieties and from Rs 1,345 to Rs 1,400 for ‘Grade A’ varieties.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which met yesterday also approved the MSPs of other rabi crops for 2014-15. The MSP for rapeseed-mustard was increased from Rs 3,050 to Rs 3,100 per quintal, while the corresponding hikes were from Rs 3,100 to Rs 3,175 for gram (chana), Rs 2,950 to Rs 3,075 for lentil (masur), Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,150 for barley, and Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,050 for safflower.
The MSPs for all rabi crops have been fixed based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), an official statement said.
In the 2013-14 marketing season, due to huge wheat stocks held with FCI, the CACP had recommended freezing of MSP at the previous year’s level of RS 1,285 per quintal which the UPA government did not accept and revised MSP to Rs 1,350 per quintal.