Pipe Dream

Business Today - - THE BUZZ - – Joe C Mathew

CLAIM­ING IN­DIAN

farm­ers would ben­e­fit to the tune of ` 62,635 crore, the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment in­creased Min­i­mum Sup­port Prices (MSP) for crops to be grown this win­ter. Th­ese would be sold in 2019 – when there is a gen­eral elec­tion to be faced. The in­crease in wheat MSP has been ` 105 per quin­tal, while saf­flower and len­til (ma­sur) where FPI sell-off in­ten­si­fies were raised by ` 845 and ` 225 per quin­tal. If the en­tire quan­tity of crops pro­duced this win­ter is pur­chased at the gov­ern­ment fixed MSP, farm­ers will in­deed ben­e­fit; but this is un­likely. Ex­cept for wheat and paddy, gov­ern­ment, agen­cies rarely lift other crops (such as pulses or oilseeds) in those quan­ti­ties. Mean­while the mar­ket price isn’t also on par with MSP. The higher MSP might end up prov­ing a cause of dis­agree­ment, and it is high time the gov­ern­ment re­alises this.

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