The minimum support price for common grade variety of paddy has been increased to Rs1,250 per quintal from Rs1,080
New Delhi: In view of rising input costs, the Indian government on Thursday announced Rs170 per quintal hike in support price of paddy to farmers at Rs1,250 for the 2012-13 crop year, reports PTI.
The minimum support price (MSP) of paddy and other Kharif (summer) crops has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), an highly placed source said after the CCEA meeting.
The MSP for common grade variety of paddy has been increased to Rs1,250 per quintal from Rs1,080 in the previous year. Similarly, the support price for 'A' grade variety of paddy has been raised to Rs 1,280 per quintal from Rs 1,110.
The increase in the support price of paddy is in line with the recommendations made by the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices, which recommends the government on farm pricing policy.
Paddy is grown in both kharif and rabi season. The Kharif sowing begins with the start of the south-west monsoon in June and harvesting that starts from October.
India produced a record 103.41 million tonnes of rice in the 2011-12 crop year. Higher MSP has been announced to give better returns to paddy farmers, whose cost of cultivation has risen substantially due to rise in cost of labour, power and fertiliser.
Miffed over the disclosure of its candidate for the Presidential race, the Congress has rejected the names suggested by Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav
New Delhi: The Congress, main party in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) while rebuffing Samajwadi Party (SP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC), has ruled out sparing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the Presidential post. The Congress also rejected three names proposed by its two allies, sending signals that it was not in a mood to bow before them, reports PTI.
"We cannot afford to spare Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. The other two names, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Somnath Chatterjee are not acceptable," Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
"During UPA-II (election of leader), we have already said he (Singh) will remain the Prime Minister till 2014. Congress does not take such a step (of changing its leader) in between," he said.
His forthright assertion came after ruling Congress party President Sonia Gandhi held parleys with senior party leaders Pranab Mukherjee, AK Antony and P Chidambaram at her residence in the wake of TMC and SP stunning the party by proposing the names of Manmohan Singh, Dr Kalam and Chatterjee as a counter to candidature of Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari.
Virtually disapproving of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee's action of disclosing the names of Mukherjee and Ansari as first and second choices of Congress, Dwivedi said the process of consultation was still on and Sonia Gandhi had not finalised any name. She is in the process of consulting even single-member parties and in the course of it two names have come up. "If Congress had decided on the name, two names would not have come up," he said.
"There is a dignity to the process. When such talks are held, names are not discussed outside," the Congress leader said, apparently referring to Banerjee disclosing the names to the media immediately after meeting Gandhi at her residence yesterday.
The Congress Core Group, headed by Gandhi and including the Prime Minister and senior Cabinet ministers, will meet this evening to devise further strategy on the President's election.
Earlier in the day, Mukherjee drove to the 10, Janpath residence of Gandhi and was with her for about 30 minutes. Senior Congress leaders Antony and Chidambaram also met her.
Gandhi also held discussions with other UPA allies like Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
DMK Parliamentary leader TR Baalu met her and said Gandhi will be announcing the name of the UPA Presidential candidate anytime later this week.
"Keeping in view the political stature and seniority in public life, my leader Karunanidhi was consulted by Madam last month through Antony. My leader had suggested a name. The name has been communicated by Antony to Madam. Madam at any point of time, will be announcing the decision," Baalu told reporters.
He said the name of the person cannot be divulged as of now and parried questions on whether the candidate is among the five persons whose names have been made public.
"Madam will announce it shortly. Not today... At any point within this week," he said.
When asked if DMK was fine with Mukherjee's candidature, he said, "it is between the two higher ups. My leader has communicated the matter long back. We stand by it."