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‘Fair’ price for cane, bonus on rice

business Updated: Oct 30, 2009 02:59 IST
HT Correspondent

The government on Thursday announced a nationwide “fair and remunerative price” of sugarcane of about Rs 130 per quintal and a Rs 50 bonus per quintal to farmers on paddy over the minimum price to boost procurement for PDS.

The Cabinet set the benchmark price at Rs 129.84 per quintal (100 kg), Home Minister P Chidambaram said after a meeting of the Union cabinet.

The government also cleared the bonus for paddy amid fears of a fall in rice procurement this season following drought, and later floods.

An ordinance on October 21 and an amendment to the sugarcane control order the next day, however, replaced the concept of a “minimum price” by a “fair and remunerative price”. The cabinet validated the amendment on Thursday.

“This price will be uniformly applicable in all the states,” an official statement said.

The fair and remunerative price for this year is higher than the statutory price of Rs 107.76 per quintal fixed earlier on June 25.

Following these amendments, a fair price of sugarcane to be paid by sugar mills in 2009-10 sugar season has been approved by the government.

The ordinance also takes care to end any future ambiguity regarding working of the margins of risk and profit and reduces the possibility of litigation on computation of fair and remunerative price.

As for paddy, the government approved a Rs 50 bonus in addition to the MSP of Rs 950 per quintal for the common variety of paddy and Rs 980 per cent quintal for superior variety during this Kharif marketing season (October-September).

The bonus of Rs 50 per quintal will cost the government Rs 1,884.79 crore, assuming that the procurement of rice will touch 250 lakh tonnes this season, Chidambaram said.