The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated kharif crops for marketing season 2021-22.
The MSP of paddy (common) has been increased by Rs 72 per quintal, from Rs 1,868 per quintal in 2020-21 to Rs 1,940 per quintal in 2021-22. Highest absolute increase in MSP over the previous year has been recommended for sesamum (Rs 452 per quintal) followed by tur and urad (Rs 300 per quintal each), said Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar at a press briefing in New Delhi.
The increase comes during ongoing farmers' protest against three contentious farm laws passed last year.
"In case of groundnut and nigerseed, there has been an increase of Rs 275 per quintal and Rs 235 per quintal respectively in comparison to last year. The differential remuneration is aimed at encouraging crop diversification," said CCEA in a statement.
"The increase in MSP for Kharif Crops for marketing season 2021-22 is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 1.5 times of the All-India weighted average Cost of Production (CoP), aiming at reasonably fair remuneration for the farmers. The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in case of Bajra (85%) followed by urad (65%) and tur (62%). For rest of the crops, return to farmers over their cost of production is estimated to be at least 50%," added CCEA.
The Cabinet also approved allocation of 5MHz 4G spectrum for Railways.
"Railways will be provided with 5 megahertz spectrum in 700 MHz band. It will improve its communication system and make rail travel safer. Railway currently uses optical fibre. With the availability of spectrum, there will be radio communication," said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar at the briefing.
Rs 25,000 crore will be spent in the next 5 years for signal modernisation and 5G spectrum implementation in Railways, said Javadekar.
Union Cabinet also approved extension of the applicability of New Investment Policy (NIP)-2012 read with its amendment to the Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited, added Javadekar.