Budget '18: Swaminathan hails MSP hike

ANI | Updated: Feb 02, 2018 16:26 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 2 (ANI): Agriculture expert and former Rajya Sabha member M.S. Swaminathan has welcomed the Union Budget announcement to keep the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all unannounced Kharif crops at least at one and a half times of the production cost.

Swaminathan told ANI, "I am happy that after over 10 years we recommended this formula, the government has accepted it. Better late than never. Farmers will be happier."

On Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the government has decided to keep the MSP for all hitherto unannounced crops of Kharif at least at one and half times of their production cost.

"This historic decision would prove an important step towards doubling the income of our farmers and NITI Aayog in consultation with central and state governments will put in place a foolproof mechanism so that farmers will get adequate price for their produce," Jaitley said.

As a primary measure, the government announced raising institutional credit for the agriculture sector to Rs 11 lakh crore for the year 2018-19 from Rs 10 lakh crore in 2017-18.

Taking the government's vision ahead, the Finance Minister announced the launching of 'Operation Greens' to address price volatility of perishable commodities like potatoes, tomatoes and onions, at an outlay of Rs. 500 crore.

'Operation Greens', on the lines of 'Operation Flood', shall promote Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management in the sector. (ANI)