Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Centre has regularised the minimum support price (MSP) for the common variety of kharif paddy at Rs. 850 a quintal, up from Rs. 745, and for grade ‘A’ at Rs. 875, up from Rs. 775.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday, based on the report of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister, said highly placed sources in the Agriculture Ministry.

The CCEA, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, decided that in view of the demands from paddy-growing States to raise the MSP to Rs. 1,000, the government might consider giving a ‘bonus’ of about Rs. 50 a quintal later. For this, the administrative Ministry of Food would approach the CCEA “at the appropriate time” after taking into account the prevailing market price of rice, availability and procurement made by government agencies for the central pool.

In June, the CCEA took an “ad hoc” decision to revise the MSP of paddy by Rs. 105 a quintal — which was below the recommendation of the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices — and deferred a decision on other kharif crops. Now the CCEA approved the MSP recommended by the CCEA for kharif coarse cereals, oilseeds, pulses and cotton.