Wednesday, August 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

CCEA hikes MSP for foodgrains, seeds
Royalty on minerals revised
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Aug 29 — Hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for foodgrains, grams, oilseeds and cotton for the kharif season ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 100 per quintal, approval to the BPL’s American Depository Receipts (ADRs) worth $ 200 million and revision of rates of royalty and dead rent in respect of minerals were among the major decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) here today.

While the MSP for paddy’s common variety has been raised to Rs 540 from Rs 520 per quintal, and paddy grade A, has been increased to Rs 445 from Rs 415 per quintal, the Union Agriculture Minister Mr Nitish Kumar told newsmen.

The maximum hike of Rs 110 per quintal is for Niger seeds, whose MSP has been raised to Rs 1,025 from Rs 915 followed by arhar, urd and moong, whose MSP has been raised to Rs 1200 per quintal from the prevailing Rs 1105 per quintal.

The long-awaited MSP, recommended by the Agriculture Ministry, was taken up at a meeting of the CCEA chaired by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee.

However, the full Cabinet meeting was postponed by two days, an official spokesperson said without giving any reason.

For fair average quality jowar, bajra, maize and ragi the MSP has been hiked by Rs 30 to Rs 445 per quintal this year from Rs 415 per quintal last year, Mr Kumar said.

The MSP for groundnut (shell) has been raised to Rs 1,220 a quintal for the current kharif season as against Rs 1,155 per quintal last year.

Mr Kumar said the upward revision in MSP was necessary due to increase in prices of various inputs, including diesel, electricity and fertiliser.

For soyabean yellow and soyabean black, the MSP has been hiked to Rs 865 and Rs 775 per quintal, respectively, this year from Rs 845 and Rs 755 per quintal, respectively, Mr Kumar said.

The MSP for Sunflower Seed (FAQ) has been raised from Rs 1,155 per quintal to Rs 1,170 per quintal, he said, adding that the new MSP for sesum seed was Rs 1,300 per quintal as against Rs 1,205 last year.

For the long variety of cotton (H-4), the MSP was fixed at Rs 1,825 against Rs 1,175 last year, while for F-414, H-777 and J-34 varieties, it was Rs 1,625 against Rs 1,575 last year.

The CCEA also gave its approval to the proposal of M/s BPL Communications Limited for Initial Public Offering of Equity shares in the form of ADRs for $ 200 million (including a 15 per cent greenshoe option).

Agencies add: The CCEA approved South Eastern Railways proposal for setting up a transmission network for availing direct power supply from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in Bilaspur division and electrification of Ernakulam-Trivandrum railway line at an estimated cost of Rs 276.6 crore.

The CCEA also approved a proposal for promotional exploration of coal and lignite in the Ninth Plan while revising royalty rates for other minerals, including copper, zinc and lead.

An official spokesperson said the proposed revision was likely to increase royalty accruals for major mineral producing states by 21.25 per cent. Stating that royalty rates were last revised on April 11, 1997, he said ad-valorem rates of royalty had been made applicable for 21 categories that cover 39 specified minerals and a single group of unspecified minerals.

The new rates would be applicable to all states except West Bengal, which had moved the Supreme Court on the issue of collecting cess and other taxes on minerals and a stay had been obtained by the state on the issue. The CCEA, has also accepted several recommendations of the study group, set up by the Centre, to determine the rates of deed rent except coal, lignite and sand for stowing.

The CCEA also approved an amount of Rs 171.58 crore as grant-in-aid during the Ninth Plan for the Indian Council of Forestry Research (ICFRE).

The allocation had been made to enable the Dehradun-based institute to promote and coordinate forestry education, research and its application as also to develop and maintain a national information centre for forestry and allied sciences.



NEW DELHI, Aug 29 (UNI) — Following are the highlights of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs:

  • Minimum support price for paddy, coarse grains, pulses, oilseeds and cotton increased ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 110.
  • Royalty rate for all minerals increased on an average by 21 per cent.
  • Approval for availing direct power supply from the NTPC in Bilaspur division of south eastern railway at an estimated cost of Rs 128.73 crore leading to substantial reduction in traction energy bill.
  • Approval for grants in aid Rs 171.58 crore for the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun, for partly meeting the requirement of forestry research education and extension.
  • Approval for an expenditure of Rs 147 crore for promotional exploration of programme for coal and lignite for the Ninth Plan.
  • Conditional nod for M/s BPL Communications Ltd for an initial public offering of $ 200 million in the form of ADRs.
  • Electrification of the Ernakulam-Trivendrum section involving Rs 147 crore making Chennai-Trivendrum route completely electrified.

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