New Delhi, June 12 (UNI) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today announced an ad-hoc Minimum Support Price(MSP) for Kharif 2008-09 for common variety of paddy at Rs 850 per quintal and for Grade "A" variety of paddy at Rs 875 per quintal, while referring the recommendations of the CACP in this regard to the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council(EAC).
The CACP had recommended the MSP for common variety of paddy at Rs 1,000 per quintal and for Grade 'A' variety of paddy at Rs 1,050 per quintal.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram told newspersons here that the matter of increase in the case of common variety of paddy had been referred to the EAC in view of the wide divergence in the prices suggested by the state governments and the very steep increase suggested by the CACP.
He said that while some state governments had suggested a lower price for common variety of paddy than that suggested by the CACP, others wanted more.
While States like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa had wanted an MSP of Rs 850 per quintal, Himachal Pradesh had suought an MSP of Rs 645 per qunital.
On the other hand, Andhra Pradesh had suggested an MSP of Rs 1,300 per quintal. Some other States too wanted an amount higher than that recommended by the CACP.
Mr Chidambaram said the hike in the case of MSP of common variety of paddy was high and of the order of Rs 105 per quintal, up from Rs 745 per quintal in the previous kharif to Rs 850 per quintal now.
Others States like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had not given a view on the matter.
The Finance Minister noted that Cabinet had often modified the recommendations of the CACP and the hike for this year had been substantial, citing statistics to support his point.
In the year 1999-2000, the increase in the MSP of Paddy was Rs 60 and for the four-year period from 2003-04 to 2007-08, the increase was of Rs 195 per quintal. Thus the ad-hoc increase for this Kharif was respectable, he said.
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