Centre wilts under farmers' ire, hikes rabi MSP

 Modi government announced up to 21% hike in the minimum support price for rabi crops.

A day after facing farmers' ire, the Modi government announced up to 21% hike in the minimum support price for rabi crops, touting it as additional income of Rs 62,635 crore to farmers.

The increase in rabi MSP was one of the assurances given by the government to protesting farmers, who rocked the national capital on Tuesday with their demands.

Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh, however, rejected farm loan waiver demand saying the Modi government's policy was to empower farmers through massive investments in the agriculture sector.

Singh announced a 6% increase in the support price of wheat, a key rabi crop. He said the support prices for six winter-sown crops ranged from 50% to 112% higher than the cost of cultivation.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured farmers support prices for their produce after adding 50% profit to the cost of production.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a Rs 105 per quintal hike in wheat MSP to Rs 1,840 for Rabi season 2018-19  (July-June). The MSP for barley has been increased by Rs 30 per quintal to Rs 1,440, while that of gram (Chana) by Rs 220 per quintal to Rs 4,620.

The support price for masoor has been raised by Rs 225 to Rs 4,475 per quintal, and for rapeseed/mustard by Rs 200 to Rs 4,200 per quintal. Safflower MSP has been increased by Rs 845 per quintal to Rs 4,945.

Higher returns

Singh said for wheat, the cost of production was Rs 866 per quintal and the MSP of Rs 1,840 per quintal ensured a return of 112.5% to farmers.

In case of gram, the MSP is higher by 75% than the cost of production, masoor (76.7%), mustard (90%), barley(67.4%) and safflower(50%).


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