The latest rise stands highest since the Rs 150-per-quintal hike brought in a decade ago in 2005-06 and 2006-07 during the Congress-led UPA-I government.
Aware of potential attacks on the basis of discontent within the farming community, Narendra Modi-led NDA-II appears to have adopted the minimum support price (MSP) policy that looks the exact opposite of the one taken up by erstwhile Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Indian Express report. The government has increased the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat by Rs 110 to Rs 1,735 a quintal and of pulses by Rs 200 per quintal in a bid to boost the output of these crops and check prices.
The latest rise stands highest since the Rs 150-per-quintal hike brought in a decade ago in 2005-06 and 2006-07 during the Congress-led UPA-I government. Also, the overall hike in wheat MSP under NDA-II — Rs 335 per quintal — has surpassed the cumulative hike of Rs 320 during the UPA-2 administration.
The mega increase in prices comes after modest hikes in the first two years of the government. It appears that the latest price hike has been prompted recent farmer protests mainly in the BJP-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh (Mandsaur) and Rajasthan. In the first year of NDA-II (2014-15), the prices were hiked by a marginal Rs 50 per quintal. While it was increased by Rs 75 and Rs 100 in the following two years.
In case Vajpayee government, MSP was hiked by Rs 40 per quintal in its first year (1998-99) and by Rs 30 each in the next two years. While the prices were hardly hiked in its last three years (2001-02 to 2003-04). In the entire span of six years, the cumulative MSP worked out to Rs 120 per quintal.
Ashok Gulati, former chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) said that Modi government, too, seemed conservative initially. He added that its entire effort was to bring down inflation with a pronounced pro-consumer bias. “But that now appears to have changed, given the growing pressure from within the ruling party and affiliate organisations to reverse what they perceive as anti-farmer,” he said.