The Government has announced an increase in minimum support prices (MSP) for a host of kharif crops, such as paddy, pulses and oilseeds.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a Rs 60 hike in support price of paddy to Rs 1,310 a quintal, the Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, said on Friday. For Grade A paddy, the MSP increase is Rs 65 at Rs 1,345.

The support price of arhar dal has been increased by Rs 450 to Rs 4,300 a quintal, while that of groundnut and sesame has been hiked by Rs 300 each to Rs 4,000 and Rs 4,500 respectively. The price of moong dal, too, has been hiked by Rs 100 to Rs 4,500 while for urad it has been retained at last year’s level.

“Except for bajra and arhar, the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) have largely been accepted,” Chidambaram said.

The Agriculture Ministry has favoured a higher MSP for arhar and bajra to boost domestic output.

The MSP for bajra has been raised by Rs 75 at Rs 1,250 , while for maize, the support price has been raised by Rs 135 to Rs 1,310 .

For soyabean black, the MSP has been increased by Rs 300 at Rs 2,500, while for soyabean yellow, it has been hiked by Rs 320 a quintal over last year at Rs 2,560 .

Delayed announcement

This year, the MSP declaration has been delayed by about a fortnight, even as the monsoon has advanced and covered the entire country about a month ahead than normal.

As a result, sowing of key kharif crops such as rice, pulses and oilseeds has picked up across the country.

The MSP for sunflower seed, niger seed has been retained at last year’s levels of Rs 3,700 and Rs 3,500 a quintal. The price for cotton medium staple and cotton long staple has been raised by Rs 100 a quintal each over the last year at Rs 3,700 and Rs 4,000, respectively.

(This article was published on June 28, 2013)
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