The Centre on Wednesday made a modest increase of Rs 50 in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, a move “partially hailed” by the Punjab government.
The decision was taken by the cabinet commitee on economic affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The MSP is the rate at which government buys the grain from farmers. Paddy is the main crop grown in the kharif (summer) season.
The paddy MSP for the current season would be
The MSP is the rate at which government buys the grain from farmers. After the hike, the paddy MSP for the current season would be Rs 1,410 per quintal.
Sowing of kharif crops has already started with the onset of the south-west monsoon."The CCEA decision is based on recommendations of the commission for agricultural costs and prices (CACP)," an official statement said."We partially welcome the Centre's decision as the meagre MSP hike (3.7%) has not enthused paddy growers in Punjab at all," said Harcharan Bains, adviser to Punjab chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Official sources said Badal had sought an MSP of Rs 2,000 per quintal for paddy.
Bains said the state had been demanding that MSP should be fixed on the basis of Swaminathan Commission report, which had recommended linking of MSP with the wholesale price index.
Justifying the demand for more MSP, Bains said there was a steep hike in the cost for agricultural inputs, which had increased the debt burden of farmers. Bains said that the BJP's national manifesto before the Lok Sabha elections last year had promised to implement the Swaminathan Commission report.
To boost domestic output and check price rise, the Central government has sharply hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for pulses by up to Rs 275 per quintal for this year.
“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 CACP," said an official.
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 201