Dealing another blow to the already languishing farmers’ protest, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on 9 June said that the Narendra Modi government was committed to double the income of farmers as he announced a hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and other kharif crops. The MSP for paddy has been hiked by Rs 72 per quintal to Rs 1,940 per quintal for the 2021-22 crop year.
Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, Tomar again dispelled apprehensions about MSP saying, “MSP (for farm crops) is there, is being hiked and will continue in future as well.”
MSP has been increased regularly and its benefit is reaching farmers, he said.
The Prime Minister Modi-headed cabinet’s decision will help farmers take a call on which kharif (summer) crop to grow as sowing picks with the spread of the Southwest monsoon.
Modi government has approved an increase in the MSP of paddy (common variety) to Rs 1,940 per quintal for the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from Rs 1,868 per quintal in the year-ago period.
Similarly, the MSP of Bajra has been increased to Rs 2,250 per quintal for the current year from Rs 2,150 per quintal last year, Tomar said.
Paddy is the main kharif crop, the sowing of which has begun with the onset of the Southwest monsoon. The Met Department has projected a normal monsoon for the June-September period.
Giving a boost to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ mission, the government has approved the allotment of 5 MHz Spectrum in 700 MHz frequency band to Indian Railways for public safety and security services at stations and in trains.
With this spectrum, Indian Railways has envisaged providing LTE (Long Term Evolution)-based Mobile Train Radio Communication on its route. The estimated investment in the project is more than Rs. 25,000 Crore. The project will be completed in the next 5 years.
In addition to this, Indian Railways has approved TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System), an indigenously developed ATP (Automatic Train Protection) system, which will help in avoiding train collisions thereby reducing accidents and ensuring passenger safety.
It brings a strategic shift in Indian Railways’ operations and maintenance regime. It will help in improving the safety and increasing the line capacity to accommodate more trains using the existing infrastructure. The modern rail network will result in reduced transportation cost and higher efficiency. It will attract multinational industries to set up manufacturing units to fulfill the ‘Make in India’ mission and generate employment.
Meanwhile, since January 2012, the farmers’ protest has stopped grabbing the top headlines in the news space.