The union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday raised the minimum support price for the 2017-18 marketing season that starts from April by a hefty Rs 100 per quintal, the biggest increase so far in the current Prime Minister Modi-led NDA government.
The increase which in percentage terms translates into a 6.6 percent hike is more than the RS 50 and 75 per quintal rise in wheat MSPs announced in the last two years.
This decision is said to be taken with an eye on the elections in the states like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and also towards the government’s vision to double the income of farmers by 2020.
New Minimum Support Price(MSP) for the 2017-18 marketing season
The MSP’s of chana has been raised by up to Rs 500 per quintal and masur by Rs 550 per quintal, while that of mustard has been increased by Rs 350 per quintal.
“Wheat has been hiked by 6.6 per cent, barley 8.2 per cent and including bonus, gram 14.3 per cent, masur 16.2 per cent, rapeseed/mustard 10.4 per cent, safflower 12.1 per cent,” an official spokesperson said.
He added saying that “Further, to incentivise cultivation of pulses and oilseeds, a bonus on these crops over MSP has been announced.”
Gram MSP has been hiked to Rs 4,000 per quintal, including bonus, from Rs 3,500 per quintal in the previous year, while support price of masur has been raised to Rs 3,950 per quintal from Rs 3,400 per quintal.
The Agriculture Ministry had proposed the support price of gram and masur at Rs 4,000 per quintal each, including bonus, for the rabi season to boost domestic output, reduce the country’s dependence on imports, and check prices.
The government is targeting 20.75 million tonnes of pulses production this year on account of good monsoon. It expects 13.5 mt of output from the ensuing rabi season while 8.7 mt is estimated to have been harvested in the just-completed kharif season.
Wheat production in 2016-17 as per official estimates is around 94 million tonnes, while traders said it is below 90 million tonnes because of consecutive drought.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) will be the designated central nodal agency for price support operations for cereals, pulses and oilseeds.
To supplement the efforts of FCI, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF), Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and Small Farmers Agri – Business Consortium (SFAC) may also undertake procurement of oilseeds and pulses as per their capacity.