Battling food price inflation,the government on Thursday overruled Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawars proposal to hike the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat crop next year by Rs 100 per quintal and approved only Rs 50 a quintal hike in MSP over previous year.
Wheat MSP has been increased by Rs 50 per quintal to Rs 1,400 for 2013-14 crop year as against Rs 1,350 last year, Food Minister K V Thomas said after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
While the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices had suggested Rs 50 a quintal hike to the Agriculture Ministry,Pawar had proposed Rs 100 a quintal hike to compensate for the rise in input costs to the farmers and demands from various state governments for substantial hike.
We are concerned about inflation. When MSP goes up,obviously prices in the open market rise and we have no control on that, Thomas reasoned in response to queries on overruling Pawars suggestions. We need to take a balanced decision of protecting both farmers and consumers. We are giving a price support to farmers and not the income support.