A day after farmers demanding higher MSP prices and uniformity in loan waivers clashed with police at the UP Gate-Delhi border, the Cabinet on Wednesday hiked the minimum support price of Rabi crops for 2018-19.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in its meeting approved the hike in minimum support prices (MSP) of wheat by Rs 105 per quintal, masaur Rs 225,/quintal, safflower by Rs 845/quintal, and gram by Rs 220/quintal.
The MSP has been increased in accordance to the recommendations of farm advisory body CACP and is in line with the government’s announcement to provide farmers a 50 per cent profit over the cost of production.
“It will give additional return to the farmers of Rs 62,635 crore by way of increasing MSP of notified crops to at least 50 per cent over cost of production and will aid in doubling farmers’ income,” the Cabinet said in a statement.
On Tuesday, farmers from several states, including poll-bound Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, were stopped by police from completing the final leg of a ten-day Kisan Kranti Yatra by crossing the Uttar Pradesh border into Delhi.
Among the farmers’ demands are the implementation of the Swaminathan report, lifting an NGT ban on 10-year-old tractors, uniform and complete procurement of crops, uniformity in loan waivers across the country, equal electricity tariff, a farmer-friendly insurance scheme, equal pension to both farmers and agricultural labourers and GST levied on farming equipment.
Police had put up barricades to prevent the farmers from entering the capital and used water cannons and tear gas to push them back. Amid the clashes, a delegation of farmers led Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) general secretary Yudhvir Singh met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to press their demands.
“The government has accepted seven of their demands and our doors are open for the farmers who want to fine-tune or improvise the programmes initiated by the Narendra Modi government,” Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told The Indian Express.
The Centre was non-committal on loan waivers and higher Minimum Support Price (MSP). “For the rest of the demands, we will meet again within a few days at the Home Minister’s residence,” he said.
The farmers’ protest ended today after they were allowed to enter the national capital and conclude their march at Kisan Ghat.
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