Dec 26, 2012, 09.24 AM IST
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to approve tomorrow a proposal to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat by Rs 100 per quintal to Rs 1385 for the next year starting April 2013.
It may also take a call on another proposal moved by the Food Ministry for allowing additional export of 2.5 million tonnes of wheat from the government godowns.
"The CCEA meeting is scheduled for tomorrow. The proposal of wheat MSP and export of FCI wheat are on the agenda list," sources said.
Maintaining its stand on wheat MSP hike, the Agriculture Ministry has moved a fresh proposal suggesting support price of Rs 1385 per quintal for the 2012-13 marketing year (April-March), against Rs 1285 per quintal this year.
Sources said that the ministry has turned down once again the recommendation of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) that insisted on freezing wheat MSP at last year's level though with a bonus of Rs 40 per quintal.
In the previous meeting, the CCEA had asked the CACP, a government body that suggests farm pricing policy, to relook into the issue following differences between the Agriculture and Finance ministries.
In the new proposal, the Agriculture Ministry has toned down its demand and has suggested increasing wheat MSP to Rs 1385 per quintal, instead of Rs 1400 per quintal.
Experts said that farmers are waiting for the government to announce the MSP of wheat because they would decide on what crop to grow depending on the hike in prices.
Till last week, farmers have sown wheat in 25.3 million hectare, marginally lower than 25.7 million hectare in the same period last year.
According to sources, the CCEA may also approve a proposal of the Food Ministry to allow export of additional 2.5 million tonnes of FCI wheat through public trading firms.
In June, the government had allowed export of 2 million tonnes of wheat from FCI godowns to clear surplus stocks. The entire quantity has been contracted for shipment and 1 million tonnes of it has already been exported.
The Food Ministry has moved a proposal for additional wheat exports in the backdrop of surplus stocks still lying in the godowns especially in Punjab and Haryana besides better prices been offered for Indian wheat in the global market.
As on December 1, the government had a total stock of 68.2 million tonnes, of which 37.6 million tonnes is wheat.
The government godowns are overflowing with foodgrains stocks following record production and procurement in the last two consecutive years. Wheat production stood at a record 93.90 million tonnes this year.
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