The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) will meet on Wednesday to approve the support price of kharif crops and is likely to raise paddy MSP sharply by Rs 200 to Rs 1,750/quintal to honour the budget announcement to ensure that farmers get at least 1.5 times of the production cost.
Among 14 kharif crops, the maximum hike in the minimum support price (MSP) is likely to be in case of ragi, which is expected to be increased by Rs 900 to Rs 2,700 per quintal for 2018-19 crop year (July-June), sources said.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the Cabinet will approve the increase in MSP to at least 1.5 times of the production cost in the forthcoming meeting.
Paddy is the main kharif (summer sown) crop, the sowing of which has already begun with the onset of southwest monsoon.
“In some of the kharif crops where the MSP is already 1.5 times of the production cost, the increase will be minimal. But there will a sharp increase in crops like paddy, ragi and moong, whose MSP are well below the 150 per cent of the input cost,” an official source said.
For the 2017-18 crop year, paddy MSP was fixed at Rs 1,550 per quintal for common grade and Rs 1,590 per quintal for Grade A variety.
The massive hike in MSP of paddy and other kharif crops comes in the election year of the NDA government.
Sources said the agriculture ministry has proposed higher MSP than what has been recommended by the government advisory body CACP considering growing farm distress because of fall in prices of most crops owing to bumper production, they said.
In this year’s general budget, the government had announced that it would fix a support price at least 1.5 times of the cost of the production. This was the BJP’s poll promise in 2014 general elections.
Normally, the MSP is announced just before the start of the sowing to help farmers choose the crop they want to sow. Sowing of kharif crops has begun with the onset of southwest monsoon and harvesting will start from October.