NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the PM Narendra Modi on Monday approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all the mandated Rabi crops for the marketing season 2021-22. The decision came in the midst of farmers’ agitations in Punjab and Haryana for the agricultural reform Bills not making mention of the MSP.
Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said the CCEA decision is in the line with the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. Tomar added that the higher MSPs for a variety of pulses has been approved in view of nutritional requirements and changing dietary pattern and also to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds production.
The highest increase in the MSP has been announced for lentil (Rs 300 per quintal) followed by gram and rapeseed and mustard (Rs 225 per quintal each) and safflower (Rs 112 per quintal). For barley and wheat, an increase of Rs 75 per quintal and Rs 50 per quintal respectively has been announced. The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification, said the government in an official statement.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government from 2014 to 2019 has spent close to Rs 7 lakh crore on MSP procurement against Rs 3.76 lakh crore spent by the UPA during 2009-14. “The decision to hike the MSP for the Rabi crops must silence the Opposition, who has been stoking agitation by misguiding the farmers,” said Prasad.
The increase in the MSP for Rabi crops for marketing season 2021-22 is in line with the principle of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the all-India weighted average cost of production as announced in the Union Budget 2018-19, the government maintained in the official statement.