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Committee on MSP holds first meeting

A high-level panel, which was formed last month to look at the issue of minimum support price (MSP), in its first meeting held on August 22, has formed a sub-group which would outline measures to make the pricing more “effective”.

Sources aware of the development said that the sub-group would work on guidelines to make MSP effective and more beneficial to farmers.

Support price for farm produce is the main topic of the committee, which was formed after the Centre had repealed the three farm laws amid a year-long protests by farmers’ associations.

Also the panel will invite suggestions on practicality of giving more autonomy to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and on measures to make it more scientific, sources added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last year announced that a panel would be formed to look into the issue of MSP after repealing the three farm laws.

A gazette notification was issued on July 18, announcing the formation of the committee, which has 26 members. The farmers’ body Sanyukta Kisan Morcha – which was at the forefront of the farm laws protests – was mandated to nominate three members in the panel. However the Morcha has rejected the panel and refused to nominate any of its members in it, sources said.

As a result of this, the Morcha representatives were not present in the August 22 meeting, they said.

The panel is headed by former Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agrawal and it also has representatives from other farmers’ organisations apart from Sanyukta Kisan Morcha.

NITI Aayog member, Agriculture, Ramesh Chand, the IFFCO chairman, senior member of CACP, vice chancellors of two agricultural universities of Jammu and Jabalpur, as well as Secretaries from the Union Ministries of Agriculture, Food and Public Distribution, Cooperation, and Textiles are also members of the panel.

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