New Delhi, The minimum support price for winter crops decided every year by the government was announced in the first week of November this year. It stated a hike in the support price from the next fiscal year, for four essential Rabi crops – mustard, masur, safflower and gram. The MSP of barley remained at the last year’s review price (Rs. 980 per quintal) in the revised chart. The government says this has been done due to a lavish oversupply of food grains in the market and they, thus want to shift focus to oil seeds and pulses now.
However, the decision on the MSP of the pivotal winter crop, wheat, has not been taken yet due to a consensus issue between the food and agricultural ministers. Officials dismissed it saying the latter needed more discussion and consultation. But if we go by the logic given for the barley crop and its “excessive supply”, wheat should also see no change in the MSP rate and stick to the last year’s review price.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved raising the minimum support price of masur to Rs. 2,900 per quintal and gram to Rs. 3,000 per quintal for 2013-14(April-March). This is one thousand rupees more for masur and two thousand rupees more for gram, as compared to the numbers decided by the committee in 2011-12. The MSP of oil seeds however saw a good increase as per the recommendations from the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices. Mustard and safflower rose to Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 2,800 respectively, both up from 2,500 per quintal in the review period. Officials say all these prices have been decided keeping in mind the rising inflation and other issues.