New Delhi: In a major move, the Ministry of Agriculture has given green signal to the proposal of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) to hike the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for wheat here on Thursday.

When almost half a dozen of states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are going to face Assembly polls in 2012, the Central Government does not want to miss out on any opportunity to win the loyalties of farmers.

As per the recommendation of CACP, the Ministry has decided to raise the MSP for wheat by 15 percent to Rs 1,350 a quintal during 2012-2013. The Ministry has drafted the final proposal and will present in front of the Union Cabinet for approval soon.

According to CACP, the hike in MSP for wheat is justified on the pretext of increase in prices of diesels and power used for irrigation purposes.

Earlier this year, CACP had recommended raising of MSP for paddy by 15 percent to Rs 1,350 a quintal, from the then price of Rs 1,100 per quintal.

It is expected that the MSP hike will boost the government procurement on the wheat crops in the coming years.

Last year, the government purchase of the wheat crop was 2.80 crore tonnes. Subsequently, the government is looking forward to MSP hikes observing the past records.

The food security bill is likely to be introduced in financial year2012-13. Hence, additional wheat production will be required.

JPN/Bureau