NATIONAL

Minimum support price of wheat raised

37 lakh tonnes of sugar for indigenous free sale released

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Thursday approved a hike of Rs. 10 a quintal in the minimum support prices (MSP) of fair average quality of rabi wheat, barley, gram and masur (lentil) to be marketed in 2006-07. An increase of Rs. 15 a quintal was also declared in the MSP of mustard/rapeseed and safflower.

The Centre also released 37 lakh tonnes of sugar for indigenous free sale for the festival months of October, November and December. With the release of 2.16 lakh tonnes of sugar as levy quota for each of these months and a festival quota of 54,155 tonnes already released, the total availability of sugar during the quarter would be 44.02 lakh tonnes.

The CCEA approved an MSP of Rs. 650 a quintal for wheat, Rs. 550 a quintal for barley, Rs. 1.435 a quintal for gram, Rs. 1,535 a quintal for masur (lentil), Rs. 1,715 a quintal for mustard/rapeseed and Rs. 1,565 a quintal for safflower. The prices were recommended by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) under the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Committee decided that the prices of other oilseeds belonging to the rapeseed/mustard group be fixed on the basis of their normal market price differentials with rapeseed/mustard. The National Agriculture and Marketing Federation would continue to be the nodal agency for procurement of oilseeds and pulses and losses, if any, would be fully reimbursed by the Government.

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