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Govt hikes MSP of 6 rabi crops, Rs 110 per quintal jump for wheat

Minimum support price for other rabi crops — barley, gram, lentil (masur), rapeseed & mustard, and safflower — up in the range of 2.01 per cent to 9.09 per cent

The establishment of the corridor, which allowed over 9 million tonnes of grain and oilseed commodities to be shipped from Ukrainian ports, helped to steady grain markets and curb global prices after they hit record levels. (Representational/ Express photo)

The government on Tuesday announced minimum support price (MSP) for six rabi crops for the marketing season (RMS) 2023-24, with Rs 110 per quintal (5.46 per cent) increase for the wheat crop.

The MSP for other rabi crops — barley, gram, lentil (masur), rapeseed & mustard, and safflower — has been increased in the range of 2.01 per cent to 9.09 per cent. In absolute term, the highest increase in the MSP has been approved for lentil (masur) at Rs 500 per quintal, followed by rapeseed and mustard (Rs 400 per quintal), safflower (Rs 209 per quintal), gram (Rs 105 per quintal), and barley (Rs 100 per quintal).

Briefing reporters, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said: “The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and they have approved the increase in the MSP for all mandated rabi crops for marketing season 2023-24. Wheat MSP was Rs 2,015 (per quintal), and after an increase of Rs 110, it will be Rs 2,125.”

The increase in the wheat MSP is higher in both absolute and percentage terms compared to last year. Last year, the government hiked the wheat MSP by Rs 40 per quintal (2.03 per cent). In absolute terms, a hike of Rs 110 per quintal in the MSP of wheat is the highest since 2017-18, when an equal hike was made — from Rs 1,625 to Rs 1,735.

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The increase in the wheat MSP assumes significance in view of lower production and procurement in the just-ended rabi season. As per the Fourth Advance Estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry on August 17, 2022, wheat production is estimated at 106.84 million tonne during 2021-22, which is lower than the target (110 million tonne) for the year and 109.59 million tonne actual production recorded in 2020-21.

While there has been a marginal dip in production during 2021-22, there has been a sharp decline in the procurement of wheat for the Central pool. In the RMS 2022-23, the government has procured 18.79 million tonnes of wheat, which is less than half of the quantity (43.3 million tonne) procured in the previous year (RMS 2020-21). Besides, there has been a sharp increase in the retail and wholesale prices of wheat and ‘atta’ (wheat flour) in recent months.

Explained

Well-aimed move

The hike is significant in view of lower production and procurement in the just-ended rabi season. As per the Fourth Advance Estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry on August 17, wheat production is estimated at 106.84 million tonne during 2021-22 against the targeted 110 million tonne. Besides the marginal dip in production, there has also been a sharp dip in the procurement for the Central pool.

An official statement, issued after the CCEA meeting, said that the Centre has increased the MSP of rabi crops to “ensure remunerative prices to the growers”.

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“The increase in MSP for rabi crops is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times of the All-India weighted average cost of production, aiming at reasonably fair remuneration for the farmers. The maximum rate of return is 104 per cent for rapeseed & mustard, followed by 100 per cent for wheat, 85 per cent for lentil; 66 per cent for gram; 60 per cent for barley; and 50 per cent for safflower,” the statement said.

As per the statement, the MSP for barley has been hiked by 6.12 per cent from Rs 1,635 to Rs 1,735 per quintal; gram by 2.01 per cent from Rs 5,230 to Rs 5,335; lentil by 9.09 per cent from Rs 5,500 to Rs 6,000; rapeseed and mustard by 7.92 per cent from Rs 5,050 to Rs 5,450; and safflower by 3.84 per cent from Rs 5,441 to Rs 5,650.

While the Centre has announced the MSP of wheat at Rs 2,125 per quintal as recommended by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, it is lower than the per quintal MSP suggested by nine states — Bihar (Rs 2,174), Chhattisgarh (Rs 2,250), Gujarat (Rs 3,500), Jharkhand (Rs 2,673), Maharashtra (Rs 3,796), Punjab (Rs 3,040), Rajasthan (Rs 2,450), Telangana (Rs 5,259) and West Bengal (Rs 3,140). Seven states namely Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand—all of them BJP ruled — did not make any suggestion for the wheat MSP.

First published on: 18-10-2022 at 13:43 IST
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