In a bid to tackle rising discontent among farmers ahead of crucial Assembly elections, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Rabi (winter-sowing) crops for 2018-19. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved a hike in the MSP of wheat by Rs 105 per quintal to Rs 1840 per quintal. Earlier, the price of wheat was Rs 1,735 per quintal in the 2017-18 crop year.
The decision to increase the MSP of Rabi crops was taken according to the recommendations of the farm advisory body CACP. It was also aimed at fulfilling the government’s promise to provide farmers a 50 per cent profit over the cost of production.
The development also came a day after massive farmers protests at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. Thousands of farmers under the Bhartiya Kisan Union took out a protest march from Haridwar to reach the national capital. They were, however, stopped by the police at Delhi-Noida border using water cannons and tear gas shells.
Their demands included a better price for their crop produce, implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission report, free electricity, farm loan waiver, and power connections to farmers to run tube-wells.