Govt hikes minimum support price for paddy

We have given the best possible deal to farmers: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Govt hikes minimum support price for paddy

The Centre on Wednesday increased the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and other foodgrain, a decision that may bring cheer to farmers, but lead to high prices.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to hike the MSP for paddy by Rs 50 per quintal to Rs 1,360 with effect from October 1 this year. The MSP for Grade ‘A’ variety of paddy has been raised by Rs 55 to Rs 1,400 a quintal.

MSP is the benchmark price at which the government buys paddy from farmers to run its ration shops. An increase in MSP would also lead to a higher subsidy bill.

The MSP for cotton has been increased by Rs 50 per quintal to Rs 3,750 for medium staple, and to Rs 4,050 for long staple. For pulses, the CCEA approved a Rs-50 hike in the support price of tur and urad to Rs 4,350 a quintal each, while the MSP for moong was raised by Rs 100 to Rs 4,600 a quintal.

In the oilseeds category, the government announced an increase of Rs 50 in the support price of sunflower seed to Rs 3,750 a quintal, besides a Rs-100 hike in MSP of sesame and nigerseed at Rs 4,600 and Rs 3,600 a quintal, respectively.

The CCEA approved Rs 30 hike in MSP for jowar, which would now cost Rs 1,530 a quintal for the hybrid variety and Rs 1,550 a quintal for the maldandi variety for this year. The MSP for ragi was hiked by Rs 50 to Rs 1,550 a quintal. “We have given the best possible deal to farmers,” Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) had said it has recommended a moderate increase in MSP for paddy as the Food Corporation of India warehouses have excessive stock of rice.

The Agriculture Ministry had recommended retaining the MSP of bajra and maize at Rs 1,250 and Rs 1,310 per quintal, respectively. It had also proposed keeping the MSP of groundnut and soyabean unchanged for this year at Rs 4,000 and Rs 2,500- 2,560 a quintal, respectively.

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