Govt hikes support prices for kharif pulses

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has recommended an increase in MSPs of both kharif and rabi pulses for 2016-17 season. In addition, the government has announced a bonus of Rs425 per quintal for kharif pulses (viz, arhar, moong and urad) of Rs200 per quintal for gram and Rs150 per quintal for masur.

The minimum support price (MSP) for the major agricultural produce, including pulses, are fixed on the basis of the recommendations of the CACP, views of the state governments, concerned central ministries/departments and other relevant factors.

MSP of arhar for 2016-17 has been raised to Rs5,050 per quintal from Rs4,625 in the 2015-16 kharif season. MSP for moong has been raised to Rs5,225 per quintal from Rs4,850 in 2015-16 while MSP for urad has been raised to Rs5,000 per quintal from Rs4,850 in 2015-16, MSP for gram has been raised to Rs4,000 per kg from Rs3,500 per kg and that of Masur to Rs3,950 per quintal from Rs3,400 per quintal in 2015-16. (prices are inclusive of bonus wherever applicable).

Minister of state for agriculture and farmers welfare S S Ahluwalia gave the information in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

The minister also informed the House that the government is implementing yield based Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), which has replaced the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS), from Kharif 2016 season.

Comprehensive risk insurance is provided under PMFBY to cover yield loss due to non-preventable risks, viz, natural fire and lightening; storm, hailstorm, cyclone, typhoon, tempest, hurricane, tornado etc. It also covers losses due to flood, inundation and landslide, drought, dry spells; pests/ diseases etc. On the other hand, weather-based crop insurance scheme (WBCIS) provides insurance protection to the farmers against adverse weather incidence, such as deficit and excess rainfall, high or low temperature, humidity etc, which are deemed to impact adversely the crop production.

Crop insurance is a financial tool to insure the crop losses on payment of admissible premium to the insurance company. Further, under the crop insurance schemes, claims are paid to those farmers who insure their crops and pay premium under any of the notified crop/area, notified by the concerned state governments. Admissible claims are worked out and paid as per the provisions of the respective schemes and not on any other basis like by the representation from the state government, team sent by the Government of India, declaration of drought/flood etc. by the state/central government.

Financial assistance is also provided to farmers as per guidelines on the items and norms of assistance from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)/ National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) of the ministry of home affairs, where assistance is admissible for crop loss of 33 per cent and above due to notified natural calamities, viz. avalanches, cyclone, cloud burst, drought, earthquake/tsunami, fire, flood, hailstorm, landslides, pest attack, frost and cold wave.

The norms of relief under SDRF/NDRF are Rs6,800 per ha for rainfed areas, Rs13,500 per ha for assured irrigated areas and Rs18,000 per ha for all types of perennial crops.

Assistance under SDRF/NDRF provided is for immediate relief and not by way of compensation for the loss suffered.