India government has approved higher support prices for kharif crops or summer crops, a new labour code, which will allow minimum wages to be paid by cheque / bank transfers to workers of organised as well as unorganised sectors & leasing out of Lucknow, Mangaluru and Ahmedabad airports to Adani Enterprises.
Government said the hike in MSP (minimum support prices) for kharif crops, approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), is in line with offering farmers 1.5 times the cost of production. The highest percentage return to growers over their cost of production is for millet (85 percent), urad (64 percent) & tur (60 percent).
The support price of common variety increases from Rs 1,750 / quintal to Rs 1,815 and higher quality ‘Grade A’ variety goes up from Rs 1,770 to Rs 1,835 / quintal.
Narendra Singh Tomar, Agriculture minister said higher MSP would boost investment and production. He said, “We are determined to double farmers’ income. The increased prices will help improve the financial condition of farmers”.
The new prices evoked mixed reaction from farm leaders as well as activists. President of Indian Farmers Union (IFU) Randheer Singh Shekhawat said the hike in MSP will surely help farmers. He said, “Farmers are leave farming because of low income. Rise in farm income can only happen by increase in MSP. We are glad that government has realised the importance of the farm sector”.
But, president of Kisan Jagriti Manch, Sudhir Panwar said the increase was not sufficient. “The hike is minuscule. It is not going to help the cultivators. Moreover, due to poor monsoon, the cost of input will be high this year. Thus, the increase will not meet the expenses,” he added.
VM Singh, national convener of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee said only 5% farmers will be able to get the benefit of minimum support price, which makes it meaningless unless the Centre guarantees purchases.
Cabinet had also approved labour code on wages, paving way for minimum wages to workers of organised & unorganised sectors directly in their bank accounts or via cheque. The bill will be introduced in the ongoing Parliament session.
It also approved the proposal of aviation ministry to lease out 3 airport projects – presently operated by Airports Authority of India – to Adani Enterprises. A government spokesperson through Twitter informed that “Cabinet approves proposal for leasing out of 3 airports viz. Lucknow, Ahmedabad & Mangaluru of Airports Authority of India through public private partnership”.