The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) increased the support price for both wheat and mustard on Monday, well beyond the figure recommended by the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). Its meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The minimum support price (MSP) for wheat has been fixed at Rs 750 per quintal and that of mustard at Rs 1,715 per quintal during the Rabi season.
The CACP had recommended fixing the MSP of wheat at Rs 700 per quintal and that of mustard at Rs 1,600 per quintal.
However, Finance Minister P Chidambaram while briefing newsmen said, "This is an adequate and remunerative price."
The MSP for barley has been fixed at Rs 565 per quintal, for gram at Rs 1,455 and masur dal at Rs 1,545, Chidambaram said.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's proposal to peg the MSP for wheat even higher, at Rs 750 plus bonus for to enable higher procurement from the domestic market was turned down by the CCEA, sources said.
Pawar's proposal, sources divulged, was to provide higher remuneration price for domestic farmers that would act as trigger for higher procurement.
This year, the government is importing about 30 lakh tonne of wheat and about five lakh tonne of pulses to make up for demand supply gap.
The increase in MSP for both wheat and mustard assumes significance in the backdrop of government's decision to allow zero-duty import of both pulses and wheat during current season.
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