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Eye on farmers, Delhi government plans minimum support price

Delhi development minister said the AAP government will kick-start the process of framing its “own MSP model” from Tuesday by holding meetings with agrarian experts, some of who are being called from Odisha and Telangana.

delhi Updated: Jan 29, 2019 11:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi govt,gopal rai,MSP
Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and development minister Gopal Rai at a press conference. (Biplov Bhuyan/HT File )

The Delhi government is going to introduce a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers in the national capital, development minister Gopal Rai said Monday. The MSP, which will be different from the price offered by the Centre, will be based on the report of the MS Swaminathan Commission and comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The state development minister said the government will kick-start the process of framing its “own MSP model” from Tuesday by holding meetings with agrarian experts, some of who are being called from Odisha and Telangana.

Delhi has about 20,000 farmers who work on about 75,000 acres of agricultural land. “People have told us that introducing an MSP would hardly matter as there is hardly any farming done in Delhi. But they are wrong. Even today, farmers in Delhi produce wheat on about 20,000 hectare of land and paddy is produced on 6,100 hectare land. The BJP and Congress governments in all other states have failed to implement recommendations of the Swaminathan report. We want to make Delhi a model city which offers the best MSP to farmers,” Rai said, addressing reporters Monday.

In its 2006 report, the National Commission on Farmers’ chairman M S Swaminathan suggested the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) to fix MSP at least 50% more than the weighted average cost of production. This recommendation was not incorporated in the National policy for farmers 2007.

It was only last month that the Central government increased the MSP for all Kharif and Rabi crops and other commercial crops for the season 2018-19 with a return of at least 50% over cost of production.

In the same month (December, 2018), the Delhi government also formed a three-member committee to study the Swaminathan report. The minister Monday said the committee has submitted a report on the MSP for Delhi’s farmers which will be placed before experts and stakeholders in the ‘farmers’ conference’ to be held on Tuesday. He said that once the MSP is finalised, the government will hold meetings with farmers in various pockets of Delhi, seeking their views and thereafter it will be sent to the Cabinet.

“The committee has expressed that the cost of production should be calculated keeping in view the scenario of Delhi like increased wages of labour, cost of inputs and allied components in the market of the national Capital. It has worked out the cost of production of wheat, paddy and mustard in Delhi and is in the process of calculating the average cost of production,” the minister said.

First Published: Jan 29, 2019 11:55 IST