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Marginal rise in sugarcane MSP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 11
The government today approved a marginal increase in the statutory minimum price for sugarcane at Rs 74.50 per quintal for 2004-05 from Rs 73 a quintal last year, which in real term is no hike at all.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, said the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Briefing mediapersons, he said on the recommendation of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today fixed the price at Rs 74.50 per quintal linked to a basic recovery of 8.5 per cent.

The CCEA fixed a premium of Rs 0.88 for every 0.1 per cent point increase in the recovery above 8.5 per cent, Mr Chidambaram said.

The CCEA decided to raise the base recovery rate from 8.5 per cent to 9 per cent from 2005-06 season.

The factory-wise MSP of sugarcane will be fixed by taking into account the whole season recovery rate of sugar factory with effect from 2004-05 season.

It was also agreed at the meeting of the CCEA to continue with the present practice of allowing a proportionate increase in the cane price payable by factories with recoveries higher than base recovery and the system of fixing single MSP of sugarcane linked to recovery rates for the entire country.

The CCEA also permitted the Cotton Corporation of India to undertake minimum support price (MSP) operations in Maharashtra, subject to the condition that the state government would take effective steps to discontinue the Maharashtra Raw Cotton (Procurement, Processing and Marketing) Act, 1971 and reimburse the loss, if any on this account to the CCI by the Centre, as in the case of other cotton growing states.

The move would ensure remunarative prices to the cotton growers in Maharashtra.

He said ‘food-for-work’ would be launched on November 14, Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna will begin from December 3, the birth anniversary of India’s first President Rajendra Prasad.

The Centre decided to make the foodgrains allotted to Gujarat for distribution among the families affected by the earthquake of January 26, 2001, as “free of cost”.

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