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Modest hike in Kharif MSPs: Govt

Keeping the rising inflation in mind, the Cabinet on Wednesday announced a modest year-on-year increase of 1-7% in the benchmark prices of over a dozen summer-sown crops for the year starting July. This move can potentially inflate the government’s food subsidy, except for few crops (primarily grains). This moderate rise, however, might make the farmers unhappy, who are already agitated by the government’s recent farm law litigation.

Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, however, insisted that the MSPs of all Kharif crops are still at least 50% higher than their full paid-out costs (A2+FL). He added that with the latest increase, the expected returns to farmers over their cost are expected to be the highest in the case of bajra (85%), followed by urad (65%) and tur (62%).

The minister also spoke about the increase in procurement by the government. According to estimates, for example, the government has procured a record 81.3 million tonnes of rice from farmers so far in the 2020/21 marketing year, up over 10% from a year earlier. He also added that so far Rs 1,53,515 crore has been transferred to farmers for rice purchases and Rs 82,347 crore for wheat procurement.

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