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Govt hikes paddy MSP by 16%; pulses, oilseeds by up to 37%

New Delhi, June 14 (PTI): The government on Thursday announced a 16 per cent hike in support price of paddy at Rs 1,250 per quintal for the current kharif season and raised the MSP of oilseeds and pulses sharply by up to 37 per cent to reduce the country's dependence on imports.

“There is a revision in the minimum support price (MSP) for 2012-13 kharif crops. Paddy MSP has been increased from Rs 1,080 per quintal to Rs 1,250 per quintal (common variety),” Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) .

For 'A' grade variety of paddy, the support price has been raised to Rs 1,280 per quintal from Rs 1,110.

He said the government has accepted the suggestion made by the Commission for Agriculture Costs & Prices (CACP), which recommends MSP taking into account cost of production.

Announcing the MSP of other kharif crops, Chidambaram said the MSP of urad has been increased by 30 per cent to Rs 4,300 per quintal for 2012-13 crop year (July-June), against Rs 3,300 per quintal previous year. The decision on MSPs of key pulses -- Tur and Moong -- were deferred.

In the oilseeds category, the support price of soyabean has been fixed at Rs 2,200 per quintal for black and Rs 2,240 for yellow varieties, up by Rs 550/quintal each from 2011-12.

Similarly, the support price of groundnut (shell) has been increased by 37 per cent to Rs 3,700 per quintal from Rs 2,700 per quintal in the previous year.

The CACP has suggested sharp increase in MSP of pulses and oilseeds to boost domestic output and reduce the country's import bill. Higher MSP has been fixed not only to cover rising input costs but also provide better returns to farmers.

The MSP of cotton increased by up to 28 per cent to Rs 3,600 and 3,900 per quintal for medium and long staple, each.

Chidambaram said the MSP of sunflower seed has been increased by 32 per cent to Rs 3,700 per quintal for 2012-13 from Rs 2,800 per quintal in the previous year.

While the support price of sesamum has been increased to Rs 4,200 per quintal from 3,400 per cent, the MSP of niger-seed has been hiked to Rs 3,500 per quintal from Rs 2,900 per quintal in the reviewed period, he said.

Among coarse cereals, the government has decided to increase MSP of maize and bajra by Rs 195 per cent each at Rs 1,175 per quintal, respectively, for 2012-13 crop year.

The MSP of ragi has been raised by Rs 450 per quintal to Rs 1,500 and the MSP of jowar has been increased by Rs 520 per quintal to Rs 1,500 in the reviewed period.

With substantial increase in support price, the government aims to achieve a new record in foodgrains production. In 2011-12 crop year, the country is estimated to have harvested a bumper 252.56 million tonnes of foodgrains.

However, the rise in paddy MSP will lead to an increase in food subsidy bill considering the government procures over 35 million tonnes of rice for the public distribution system.


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