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Cabinet okays up to 10% hike in MSP of several commodities

New Delhi : Days after the government imposed stock limits on Tur and Urad to prevent their hoarding owing to poor availability of these commodities, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved one of the highest rises in minimum support price (MSP) of several commodities in recent times for kharif season (2023-24), including the ones mentioned above.

The hike in the MSP for commodities is up to 10 per cent.

Minister for Food and Consumer Affairs, Commerce and Textiles Piyush Goyal said that the government’s top priority is to keep inflation in check and therefore, in recent times, it has increased procurement so that the common man does not feel the pinch while the entire burden of price rise is borne by the government.

The hike in MSP of groundnut is up to 10 per cent to Rs 6,357 per quintal, for Tur/Arhar it is a 7 per cent hike to Rs Rs 7,000 per quintal while for Urad it is Rs 6,950 per quintal.

The hike in MSPs in Jowar, Bajra and Ragi is up to 6 per cent to 7 per cent.

The hike in MSP of all essential commodities has come a day after the government removed a ceiling on the procurement of Tur, Urad and Masur, to allow farmers to produce as much quantity as they want.

Goyal said that while during the tenure of the UPA, inflation touching 10 to 12 per cent was a common thing, and since 2014-15, price rise has been in the range of 4.5 per cent and even when it touched 7 per cent, the government along with the RBI managed to bring it within tolerable limits.

He added that the central government considers farmers as “annadata” (food providers) and therefore, when the MSP is hiked, they get a disproportionately high rate for their produce.

The minister, however, avoided a clear reply to a question on why oilseed farmers were not getting adequate MSP for their produce and they were forced to protest due to lack of procurement.

On Tuesday, oilseed farmers blocked the national highway near Kurukshetra, claiming that the government was not buying their sunflower seeds on MSP.

Goyal simply said that the Centre and states try to support farmers whenever the need arises.

The government has increased the MSP of kharif crops for 2023-24, to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce and to encourage crop diversification, the minister further said.

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