Cabinet approves MSP hikes for all 14 kharif season crops for the upcoming 2024-25 season

Farmers carry paddy saplings for plantation in a field.  File

Farmers carry paddy saplings for plantation in a field. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Union Cabinet gave its nod to raise the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy by 5.35% to ₹2,300 per quintal for the upcoming 2024-25 kharif marketing season, a decision that comes ahead of Assembly elections in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi.

In the first major decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third term in officethe Cabinet approved MSP hikes for all 14 kharif season crops, in alignment with the government’s “clear policy” of keeping MSPs at least 1.5 times above the cost of production as calculated by the government, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said. However, only four of these crops have MSPs that will provide farmers with a margin of more than 50% above their production costs: bajra (77%), followed by arhar dal (59%), maize (54%), and black gram (52%).

Paddy, the season’s key crop, will see an MSP increase of ₹117 per quintal, which will allow farmers a margin of exactly 50%. The hike comes despite the fact that the government already holds a record stockpile of rice, more than four times the required buffer, but is significant ahead of the upcoming elections in key States. Kharif sowing usually begins in June with the onset of the southwest monsoon, while the crop marketing season will run from October 2024 to September 2025.

This year’s MSP hike is likely to result in a total financial implication of ₹2 lakh crore, about ₹35,000 crore higher than the previous season, Mr. Vaishnaw said, adding that this would boost farmers’ incomes.

The highest absolute increase over the previous year has been recommended for oilseeds and pulses, with the MSP for nigerseed rising ₹983 per quintal, followed by sesamum, which saw an increase of ₹632 per quintal, and arhar dal, a staple pulse, which saw its MSP rise ₹550 per quintal.

supporting farmers

The MSP of paddy common has been increased by ₹117 to ₹2,300 per quintal, while that of “grade A” has risen to ₹2,320 per quintal. The MSP for sorghum (jowar) hybrid has gone up by ₹191 to ₹3,371, and the Maldandi quality by ₹196 to ₹3,421; pearl millet (bajra) by ₹125 to ₹2,625; finger millet (ragi) by ₹444 to ₹4,290; and maize by ₹135 to ₹2,225.

To reduce the country’s dependence on the import of pulses, the government has increased the MSP of arhar dal to ₹7,550 per quintal; by ₹124 for green gram beans (moong) to ₹8,682; and by ₹450 for black gram to ₹7,400. In the oilseed category, the MSP of groundnut has gone up by ₹406 to ₹6,783; sunflower seeds by ₹520 to ₹7,280; soybean (yellow) by ₹292 to ₹4,892, 292; sesamum to ₹9,267; and nigerseed to Rs. 8,717 per quintal. There is an increase of ₹501 each in the MSPs of cotton (medium staple) to ₹7,121 and ₹7,521 per quintal for cotton (long staple).

varanasi airport expansion

The Cabinet has approved an expansion plan for Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasiwhich will enhance its annual passenger handling capacity from 3.9 million to 9.9 million. It will involve the construction of a new terminal building, an extension of the apron and runway, parallel taxi track, and allied works. The estimated financial outgo will be ₹2,869.65 crore.

The Cabinet cleared the development of an all-weather greenfield deepdraft major port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra’s Palghar at ₹76,200 crore. The port is to be constructed by Vadhavan Port Project Limited. Road connectivity between the port and national highways and linkage to the existing rail network and the upcoming dedicated rail freight corridor will be ensured.

Offshore wind energy

Another decision is related to a viability gap funding scheme for the implementation of offshore wind energy projects with an outlay of ₹6,853 crore for installation and commissioning of 1 GW of offshore wind energy projects (500 MW each off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu), and a grant of ₹600 crore for the upgrade of two ports to meet logistics requirements.

The Cabinet has also decided to implement the National Forensic Infrastructure Enhancement Scheme. An outlay of ₹2,254.43 crore, between 2024-25 and 2028-29, has been earmarked for developing campuses and laboratories, and enhancing infrastructure across the country.

(with PTI inputs)

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