Government announces MSP hike amid protests over farm bills
Amid intense protests over the controversial farm bills, the Union Cabinet has approved an increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Rabi crops for the 2021-22 season, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in the Lok Sabha, today. Earlier on Sunday, two agriculture bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha, despite protests by farmers who fear the legislation would keep them from availing MSP.
MSP hike in line with recommendations of Swaminathan Commission
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the MSP hike for all mandated Rabi crops for marketing season 2021-22. "This increase in MSP is in line with the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission," a CCEA statement said. The government fixed relatively higher MSP considering nutritional requirements, changing dietary patterns, and to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds production.
Here are the revised MSPs for Rabi crops
The revised MSPs for Rabi crops are: Rs. 5,100 per quintal for lentil (masoor); Rs. 4,650 per quintal for mustard & rapeseed; Rs. 5,327 per quintal for safflower; Rs. 1,975 per quintal for wheat; Rs. 1,600 per quintal for barley; and Rs, 5,100 per quintal for gram. The highest increase in MSP was announced for lentils, Rs. 300 per quintal.
For wheat, MSP hike of Rs. 50 announced
For gram, rapeseed & mustard, an MSP hike of Rs. 225 per quintal each has been announced. An MSP hike of Rs. 112 per quintal has been announced for safflower, followed by Rs. 75 per quintal for barley, and Rs. 50 per quintal for wheat.
'106% returns expected over wheat production cost'
In its statement, the CCEA noted, "The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of wheat (106%) followed by rapeseed & mustard (93%), gram and lentil (78%)." "For barley, return to farmers over their cost of production is estimated at 65% and for safflower, it is 50%," the statement added.
What is the farm bill controversy?
Farmers have been protesting against three Agriculture bills, fearing the legislation would scrap the MSP system. Farmer unions in Punjab have called for a total shutdown on September 25 Two of the bills—Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020—were passed in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.