New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) The Centre is yet to take a decision on the recommendation of the Commission on Agriculture Costs and Prices for a support price of Rs 1000 per quintal, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha today.
Replying to the budget discussion, Mr Chidambaram said the UPA Government had increased the paddy cost to Rs 740 from Rs 550 and the clamour among the farmers was that it should be brought on par with wheat. ''The CACP has made its recommendations and we are yet to take a decision on the matter,'' he said.
He said the MSP for paddy during 1998-99 was Rs 440 a quintal and when the previous NDA demitted office in 2003-04, the figure was Rs 550.
He said the government would make efforts to provide subsidies for the grains to be distributed in the public distribution system to help the vulnerable sections of the society. The PDS rates would also have a sobering impact on the food grains sold outside the PDS, he said.
Similarly, the MSP for wheat when the UPA assumed office was Rs 630 a quintal and now the MSP was Rs 1000 a qunital. ''We have given the farmers a better price but for the consumer it will mean higher prices,'' he remarked.
Mr M Venkaiah Naidu, BJP, said paddy growers across 11 states were awaiting an early decision to bring the MSP on par with wheat.
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