Wheat, paddy MSP may be hiked: Pranab Mukherjee

The Minimum Support Price(MSP) that the government pays to farmers for paddy may be raised further, if the situation demanded, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday. 

"Two major commodities which our farmers produce - wheat and paddy-- please compare the step up which we have given in the minimum support price," he said replying to a debate on the Union Budget in Lok Sabha.

He said the government has raised the minimum support price for wheat from Rs630 to Rs1080 per quintal over five years and added that this was higher than any other prior five year period. 

He said that for paddy the government has increased the MSP by Rs300 and it would be increased further, but it needed to be considered that this was not a budgetary exercise and the exercise was done by the appropriate ministry in consultation with the expert groups. He said that what government had done was to address what farmers required.

The government has fixed the Minimum Support Price, the price at which it purchases the commodity at Rs900 a quintal for the common variety and Rs930 a quintal for the grade A variety, both prices inclusive of bonus, for the 2008-09 season. 

In June, the Bharti Kisam Union Lahowal demanded the revision of the MSP at Rs1,500 for the 2009-10 season as recommended by the Swaminathan Committee.