The Centre has again appointed Vijay Paul Sharma as the chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) after he relinquished the post in May last year following completion of the five-year tenure.

The role of CACP chairman will be crucial in the proposed committee on the minimum support price (MSP) and other reforms.

Sharma, a professor at the Centre for Management in Agriculture in Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad was first appointed as CACP Chairman in June 2016.

He played a critical role in acceding to the government’s decision of fixing the MSP at 50 per cent over the cost of production. The government-controlled body used to recommend the MSP based not only on inputs costs, but also by considering other factors such as global and domestic prices, acreage under crops, etc.

While farmers were demanding the Swaminathan Commission report on MSP be accepted, the government agreed to the fix the MSPs at cost of production on A2+FL basis following which CACP started recommending MSPs accordingly.

Naveen P Singh, a member in the CACP, has been officiating as the chairman after Sharma’s tenure ended. The Agriculture Ministry in last November started the process of recruiting two members from the farming community from north and west zones, since these were vacant for last few years.

The government is yet to announce the committee on MSP and other reforms, as proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his announcement on repeal of the three farm laws. One of the key demands was legal guarantee of MSPs so that no farmer sells his produce below a benchmark, assuring him a minimum return.

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