SUBSTANTIAL HIKE IN WHEAT AND PADDY MSP
TPDS PRICES MAINTAINED AT JULY 2000 LEVELS FOR BPL & AAY CATEGORIES
INTERIM BUDGET 2009-2010
Under the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme 2008, debt waiver and relief amounting to Rs 65,300 crore covering 3.6 crore farmers has been given by the Government since June 30, 2008. This was stated by the Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, while presenting the Interim Budget 2009-2010 in the Lok Sabha here today.
The Finance Minister reiterated that in order to ensure remunerative prices for the farmers for their crops, the UPA government has substantially hiked the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for wheat and paddy over the last five years. Since 2003-04, MSP for the common variety of paddy has been increased from Rs. 550 to Rs. 900 per quintal for the crop year 2008-09. In case of wheat, the increase has been from Rs. 630 in 2003-04 to Rs.1,080 per quintal for the year 2009.
Ensuring the commitment of his Government towards food security in the country and meeting the food requirement of the poor under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), Shri Mukherjee stated that in spite of higher procurement costs and higher international prices during the last five years, the central issue prices under the TPDS have been maintained at the level of July 2000 in case of Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) categories and at July 2002 levels for Above Poverty Line (APL) category.