New Delhi, October 4: A day after farmers laid siege at its doorsteps, the Centre today announced a Rs 105 per quintal hike in the support price of key rabi crop wheat to take it up from Rs 1,735 a quintal in 2017-18 to Rs 1,840 a quintal for the 2018-19 season.
While the government claimed the new wheat MSP would give farmers “112.5 per cent extra return” over its cost of production, farmers rejected what they called was a “meagre” 6.1 per cent hike over last year’s support price.
Persisting on their demand for implementation of the “real” C2+50 formula, farmer leaders called it yet another “betrayal by an anti-farmer government as the cost of production was much higher than what was being claimed”.
However, terming the MSP announcement as a “big boost to farmers’ income by way of higher support price for all rabi crops, including barley, gram, pulses and oil seeds,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the initiative would provide farmers “additional income of Rs 62,635 crore and more than 50 per cent return over the cost of production”.
According to the government, the support price includes “all paid-out costs like those incurred on account of hired human labour, bullock labour/machine labour, rent paid for leased land, expenses incurred on use of material inputs, depreciation on implements and farm buildings, interest on working capital, diesel/electricity for operation of pumpsets, etc, miscellaneous expenses and imputed value of family labour”.
While as per the government, the cost of production of wheat was Rs 866 per quintal and the MSP of Rs 1,840 quantified into a return of 112.5 per cent, farmer leader from Punjab Balbir Singh Rajewal said the cost of production of the key winter grain was “not less than Rs 2,800 a quintal, especially after the increase in fertiliser and diesel prices and additional costs of dealing with the paddy stubble, etc”.
According to the government, the cost of production of barley is Rs 860 per quintal and MSP of Rs 1,440 will provide a return of 67.4 per cent over the cost of production. But against last year’s figure, it is just an increase of 2.1 per cent, say farmers.
For gram, the cost of production is Rs 2,637 per quintal and MSP of Rs 4,620 means a return of 75.2 per cent and a 5 per cent increase over last year’s support price; for masur, the cost of production is Rs 2,532 per quintal and MSP of Rs 4,475 will quantify into a return of 76.7 per cent (5.3 per cent over last year’s MSP); for rapeseed and mustard, the cost of production is Rs 2,212 per quintal and MSP of Rs 4,200 will give a return of 89.9 per cent (5 per cent more than that for last year); and for safflower, the cost of production is Rs 3,294 per quintal and MSP of Rs 4,945 will provided a return of 50.1 per cent to farmers. Percentage wise, it is the highest increase of 20.6 per cent over last year’s MSP for a rabi crop.
Source Tribune India