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Amid Row On Farm Bills, Govt Raises MSP On 6 Crops

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On Monday, the Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for 6 mandated Rabi crops for marketing season 2021-22.

"In view of nutritional requirements and changing dietary pattern and to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds production, the Government has fixed relatively higher MSP for these crops," the cabinet said in a statement.

Amid Row On Farm Bills, Govt Raises MSP On 6 Crops
 

The highest MSP was announced for lentil (Masur) at Rs 300 per quintal, an increase from Rs 4,800 to Rs 5,100 per quintal. MSP for wheat was increased by Rs 50 from Rs 1,925 to Rs 1,975 per quintal. Barley's MSP rose by Rs 75 from Rs 1,525 to Rs 1,600 per quintal. For gram, rapeseed & mustard MSP rose by Rs 225 each to Rs 5,100 and Rs 4,650 respectively. Safflower's MSP by Rs 112 to Rs 5,327 per quintal.

"It is our great privilege to work for the welfare of our farmers. In line with our ethos of taking farmer-friendly measures, the Cabinet has taken another historic decision to raise MSP. Crores of farmers will benefit from this," PM Modi tweeted.

The hike in MSP comes days after farmers' protest on the bills passed in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, which was also protested by the opposition in a heated discussion in the Upper House. The hike is also a month ahead of last year's schedule.

Reacting to the hike, Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh said, "Centre's paltry hike in MSP & 5 other Rabi crops is a cruel joke on farmers. They are consistently looking for a written assurance that MSPs will not be abolished for it's their livelihood. Also, centre has failed to announce a bonus of @100/quintal for stubble management."

 

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 were passed on Sunday.

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, seeks to allow farmers the freedom to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis) and is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, seeks to give them the right to enter into a contract with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price.

The opposition parties argued that the Bills will hurt the open procurement of wheat and rice at minimum support price (MSP), promotes corporatisation of the farm sector, attacks the federal structure on the grounds that both agriculture and markets were state subjects, among other objections.

Last week, food processing industries minister and senior leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from his post as a sign of protest against the decision of the central government to introduce three farm bills in the Parliament.

Despite PM Modi's assurances on the subject, the Akali Dal ended its long-running partnership with the BJP.

Story first published: Monday, September 21, 2020, 23:19 [IST]
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