M A I N   N E W S

Centre okays wheat bonus of Rs 50 
Vibha Sharma /TNS

New Delhi, April 15
The Centre is understood to have cleared the proposal for a bonus of Rs 50 per quintal for wheat over and above the minimum support price of Rs 1,120 per quintal for the current procurement season.

A senior Agriculture Ministry official said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared the proposal at a meeting last week but the formal announcement had been kept on hold because of Election Commission restrictions in view of the ongoing state assembly elections.

The bonus on the MSP will expectedly inflate the food subsidy bill of the country. Sources say there was a division between agriculture, consumer affairs and food ministries on whether a bonus should be granted to the farmers. However, the decision was taken as the government wants to build the food stock to ensure sufficient stocks to meet a food security law, which will widen subsidised sales to the poor.

The government has raised wheat MSP by Rs 20 a quintal to Rs 1,120 a quintal for the 2010-11 rabi marketing season (March-April), an increase that attracted widespread criticism from farmers as also state governments. The government this year is expecting wheat production to surpass all previous records.

State-run FCI, which along with other government agencies start procuring wheat from April 1, however, say that the procurement is yet to pick in major states like Punjab and Haryana due to relatively cold weather.

The total wheat procurement as on date is 21.02 lakh tonne. Aided by favourable weather and a record acreage, India is expecting a bumper wheat harvest of 84.27 million metric tons in the crop year through June 2011. 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |