Cold comfort

The government’s announcement of the new minimum support prices (MSPs) for kharif crops is broadly in line with its promise of raising them to 50 per cent above the production cost. But it would provide only cold comfort to the farmers unless a foolproof system is put in place to ensure that every producer gets these rates. Unfortunately, today’s proclamation is silent on this critical issue. It talks only about continuing the present marketing support arrangements but these reach out only to a fraction of the farmers. The government reckons the additional financial burden of this .....

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