Faced with high prices of pulses, the Centre on Thursday hiked the support price to farmers for masoor and gram dals sharply by Rs 250 a quintal each to boost production in the ongoing rabi season and reduce dependency on imports.
Apart from raising the minimum support price (MSP) of pulses, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a bonus of Rs 75 per quintal for gram and masoor dals over and above the support price.
The MSP of wheat, the main rabi crop, has been increased by Rs 75 to Rs 1,525 a quintal for the 2015-16 rabi season, while that of oilseeds has been increased by Rs 250 a quintal.
“The CCEA has approved the increase in the MSP for rabi crops of 2015-16 season to be marketed in 2016-17,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal said after the meeting.
The MSP of six rabi crops -wheat, barley, gram, masoor, rapeseed-mustard seed and safflower seed-has been increased as recommended by the government’s advisory body Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), he said.
To boost production of pulses, the CCEA has hiked the support price of masoor dal and gram (chana) by Rs 250 a quintal each to Rs 3,325 a quintal and Rs 3,425 a quintal, respectively, for 2015-16.Goyal said the MSP of gram and masoor has been raised by about 8 per cent.
“Over and above the CACP recommendation, the Union Cabinet today decided to give additional bonus of Rs 75 per quintal in the case of gram and masoor. This will give some more relief to farmers,” he said.
Wheat MSP has been increased by Rs 75 a quintal to Rs 1,525 for the 2015-16 rabi season from Rs 1,450 a quintal in same season last year.
Similarly, barley MSP has been increased by Rs 75 to Rs 1,225 a quintal from Rs 1,150 a quintal in the review period.
The sowing of rabi crops begins in October and harvesting starts from April onwards. MSP is the price at which the government would buy wheat, pulses and oilseeds from farmers.
In case of other rabi crops, the government intervenes when the market price falls below the MSP.
The sharp jump in pulses MSP will encourage cultivation of pulses and reduce dependence on imports. At present, the domestic shortfall in pulses output has led to rise in retail prices of lentils to around Rs 190 a kg forcing the government to take several measures to curb price rise.
To encourage cultivation of oilseeds and reduce dependency on edible oil imports, the CCEA has increased the MSP of rapeseed-mustard seed by Rs 250 to Rs 3,350 a quintal for 2015-16 from Rs 3,100 a quintal in the year-ago period.