Punjab on Wednesday asked the centre to hike the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to about Rs 2,000 per quintal for the next kharif season.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal cleared the state’s proposal to the centre, a spokesperson said here.
The state’s agriculture department forwarded a detailed proposal to the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP) for seeking a hike in the MSP of common variety of paddy from Rs 1,410 in 2015-16 to Rs 1,960 per quintal in 2016-17.
Likewise, it also sought an upward revision in the MSP of paddy grade ‘A’ variety from Rs 1,450 to Rs 2,011 per quintal.
The spokesperson further said that the chief minister demanded the MSP of cotton to be hiked from Rs 3,800-4,000 to Rs 5,949 per quintal.
Similarly, the proposal called for an increase in the MSP of moong from Rs 4,650 to Rs 6,300 per quintal, maha and arhar from Rs 4,425 per quintal each to Rs 6,100 and Rs 6,000 respectively.
Apart from this, the chief minister also called for an increase in the MSP of groundnut from Rs 4,030 to Rs 5,500 per quintal.
Badal said that the hike in the MSP of above mentioned crops during the kharif season 2016-17 was necessitated to boost crop diversification plans, especially for the promotion of crops like maize, cotton, moong, maha, arhar and groundnut in the state.
This move would not only benefit the state’s peasantry but also help Punjab arrest the trend of declining ground water. The state government under its ambitious agriculture diversification program had already planned to reduce the area under paddy cultivation from 28 lakh hectares to 12 lakh hectares over a period of five years.