Govt likely to increase MSP for paddy: Pawar

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Hyderabad, Jul 28 (UNI) The Centre is considering the demand from paddy-growing states, including Andhra Pradesh, for increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy to Rs 1,000 per quintal, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today.

Talking to newspersons here, he said the issue was presently before the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Committee. Once the Committee finalised its recommendations, the Prime Minister would take a decision on the issue after considering various aspects, he added.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had increased the MSP for paddy by 59 per cent for fine variety and 52 per cent for common variety, while the hike was minimal during the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime, the Minister said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was among those who were pressing for hike in the MSP in the interest of farmers, he added.

Launching a scheme for supplying subsidised palmoil for BPL families in the country, Mr Pawar said, ''India is all set to produce 230.67 million tonnes of foodgrains this year.'' The UPA had taken steps to increase agriculture growth to four per cent, but during the previous NDA regime, the growth was just between one and 1.5 per cent, he said.

The country had produced 227 million tonnes of foodgrains last year by launching the Rs 25,000 crore Rashtriya Krishi Vignan Yojana and Rs 5,000 crore National Food Security mission, he claimed.

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