NEW DELHI, June 7:
In a bonanza for farmers, the Government today announced an increase of Rs 143 in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to Rs 2,183 per quintal for this year, the second steepest increase in the last decade.
The highest increase in the paddy MSP in the last 10 years was by Rs 200 per quintal in 2018-19.
For 2023-24 kharif crops, MSP has been increased in the range of 5.3 to 10.35 per cent, and in absolute terms it has been increased by Rs 128 to Rs 805 per quintal.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved MSP of all mandated kharif crops that are grown in 2023-24 crop year and procured in Kharif Marketing Season (October-September).
Briefing media later, Food Minister Piyush Goyal said: “Farmers will benefit from the increase in the MSP at a time when the retail inflation is in a declining trend.”
“In agriculture, we have been fixing MSP from time to time based on the recommendations of CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices). The increase in MSP of the kharif crops for this year is highest compared to the previous years,” he added.
In kharif cereals, MSP of the ‘common grade’ paddy has been increased by 7 per cent (Rs 143) to Rs 2,183 per quintal for 2023-24 from Rs 2,040 in the previous year. The support price of ‘A’ grade variety of paddy has been raised by Rs 143 to Rs 2,203 per quintal from Rs 2,060.
Jowar (hybrid) and jowar (maldandi) MSP have been fixed at Rs 3,180 and Rs 3,225 per quintal respectively, which are 7 per cent and 7.85 per cent higher than Rs 2,970 and Rs 2,990 in 2022-23.
Maize MSP has increased by 6.5 per cent to Rs 2,090 per quintal for 2023-24 from Rs 1,962 per quintal in 2022-23. The MSP for ragi has been increased by 7.49 per cent to 3,846 per quintal for 2023-23 from Rs 3,578 per quintal in 2022-23.
Paddy is the main kharif crop, the sowing of which normally begins with the onset of southwest monsoon. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has projected a normal monsoon for the June-September period despite the evolving El Nino conditions.
Asked about the double-digit inflation in cereals, Goyal said the inflation is lower than other countries, while stressing that this is reflective of a rise in demand for cereals owing to an increase in income.
The PM has given high priority to check food inflation, which is much under control compared to other countries, he said, adding that a group of ministers under Home Minister Amit Shah regularly meets to take stock of the situation.
Among pulses, moong has seen the maximum increase of 10.35 per cent in MSP at Rs 8,558 per quintal in 2023-24 from Rs 7,755 per quintal in 2022-23.
Tur support price has been increased by 6.06 per cent to Rs 7,000 per quintal from Rs 6,600 per quintal, while that of urad MSP has been raised by 5.3 per cent to Rs 6,950 per quintal from Rs 6,600 per quintal in the said period.
In oilseeds, sesamum MSP saw a increase of 10.28 per cent Rs 8,635 per quintal in 2023-24 from Rs 7,830 per quintal in 2022-23, followed by groundnut MSP by 9 per cent to Rs 6,377 per quintal from Rs 5,850 per quintal, and soyabean (yellow) MSP by 6.97 per cent to Rs 4,600 per quintal from Rs 4,300 per quintal in the said period.
The MSP of niger seed has been increased by 6.13 per cent to Rs 7,734 per quintal in 2023-24 from Rs 7,287 per quintal in 2022-23, while sunflower seed MSP has been increased by 5.6 per cent to Rs 6,760 per quintal from Rs 6,400 per quintal in 2022-23.
Among cash crops, cotton (long stable) and cotton (medium stable) MSP have been fixed at Rs 7,020 per quintal and Rs 6,620 per quintal respectively, which are 10.03 per cent and 8.88 per cent higher than Rs 6,380 and Rs 6,080 in 2022-23.
In a statement, the Government said it has increased the MSP of Kharif crops for 2023-24 to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce and to encourage crop diversification.
The increase in MSP is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times of the All-India weighted average Cost of Production, aiming at reasonably fair remuneration for the farmers, it said.
“The expected margin to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of bajra (82 per cent) followed by tur (58 per cent), soybean (52 per cent) and urad (51 per cent). For the rest of the crops, the margin to farmers over their cost of production is estimated to be at least 50 per cent,” it added.
In recent years, the Government said it has been promoting the cultivation of crops, other than cereals, by offering a higher MSP for crops such as pulses, oilseeds and nutri-cereals.
Additionally, the Government has also launched various schemes and initiatives, such as the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), to encourage farmers to diversify their crops.
Due to Government measures, there has been substantial increase in the country’s foodgrains production in the last few years. As per third advance estimates for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June), total foodgrain production in the country is estimated at a record 330.5 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet also approved metro rail connectivity from the HUDA City Centre station to Cyber City in Gurugram with an aim to strengthen public transport in the national capital region.
The project will be executed by Haryana Mass Rapid Transport Corporation Limited (HMRTC) which will be set up as a 50:50 special purpose vehicle of the Centre and the Haryana government after the sanction order is issued.
The new line will cover 28.50 kilometres and have 27 stations on the route. Metro trains on the line will have a design speed of 80 km per hour and an average speed of 34 kmph. The entire project will be elevated and completed in four years.
This new metro line will connect New Gurugram with the older parts of the city and also provide overall economic development in the area, the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said, adding that in the next phase, it will provide connectivity to the IGI Airport.
“The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved metro connectivity from HUDA City Centre to Cyber City with a spur line (branch line) to Dwarka Expressway, Gurugram, covering a distance of 28.50 km and having 27 stations on the route,” the ministry said in a statement.
The total completion cost of the project will be Rs 5,452 crore.
The statement said the metro connectivity will have a standard gauge line of 1,435 mm (5ft and 8.5 inches). It will have a spur line from Basai village for connectivity to the depot, it said.
The metro connectivity will begin from the existing HUDA City Centre on the Delhi Metro’s Yellow Line and the new stations will include Sector 45, Cyber Park, Sector 47, Subhash Chowk, Sector 48, Sector 72A, Hero Honda Chowk, Udyog Vihar Phase 6, Sector 10, Sector 37, Basai Village, Sector 9, Sector 7, Sector 4, Sector 5, Ashok Vihar, Sector 3, Bajghera Road, Palam Vihar Extension, Palam Vihar, Sector 23A, Sector 22, Udyog Vihar Phase 4, Udyog Vihar Phase 5 and Cyber City.
According to the ministry, Gurugram’s population is around 25 lakh and an estimated daily ridership on the new line will be 5.34 lakh by 2026, 7.26 lakh by 2031, 8.81 lakh by 2041 and 10.70 lakh by 2051. (PTI)
NEW DELHI, June 7: