The Modi government today hiked the minimum support price of wheat by Rs 50 per quintal to Rs 1,975 per quintal amid a row over MSP’s sustainability after two farm bills were passed in the upper house. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) cleared the proposal to increase the MSP and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced it today in Lok Sabha. Narendra Singh Tomar had earlier assured that the bills are not going to override the Minimum Support Price mechanism, and adequate protection of land ownership was in place to protect farmer interests. The CCEA has approved increasing the MSP of six rabi crops.
While the government is continuously trying to convince that the new bills will give farmers’ marketing freedom and better price for their produce, there has been a widespread protest by Opposition parties and farmer groups in Punjab, Haryana, and some other states after the bills were passed. 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 by Parliament.
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The agriculture minister reassured that MSP and APMC mechanisms will continue as against false propaganda spread by opposition parties. The government underlined that it gave MSP the game-changer boost of fixing it at one and half times the cost of production as MSP is an ever-innovative policy.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Office said in a tweet that the quantities procured by the government have increased substantially under the Modi government. Notably, several pulses that were not procured at all under the UPA are now being procured and at a much higher price each year, it added. Under the NDA government, the MSPs on wheat, paddy, pulses, and oilseeds have been increased year after year, it further said.