In Rabi season, Centre hikes daily procurement limit under PSS

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New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) The Centre has approved the enhancement, from 25 quintals to 40 quintals, of daily procurement limit per farmer per day under the Price Support Scheme (PSS), where government agencies like Nafed, SPAC and other state-owned agencies procure pulses and oil seeds at minimum support price (MSP).

A senior official in the Agriculture Ministry said to deal with issues arising out of nationwide lockdown in view of Covid-19 pandemic the competent authority has approved the enhancement of daily procurement limit per farmer per day from 25 quintals to 40 quintals “by relaxing the provisions of PSS guidelines 2018 at para A (iii) of chapter III, as a onetime measure for procurement under PSS during Rabi marketing season 2020”.
The procurement shall continue for 90 days from the date of commencement of procurement. “This shall supersede the procurement period mentioned in the earlier orders for the Rabi season 2020. The other terms and conditions will remain the same as issued”, said an official communication.
The Centre has also invited proposals from the state governments and Union Territories for implementation of the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for the procurement of perishable agriculture or horticulture crops, whose prices have gone down recently.
According to a circular issued by the Agriculture Ministry, the objective of the intervention is to protect the farmers involved in these commodities from making distress sales in the event of a bumper crop during the peak arrival period when the prices tend to fall below economic levels and cost of production.
The condition is that there should be either at least a 10 percent increase in production or a 10 percent decrease in the ruling market prices over the previous normal year. The extent of loss to be shared on a 50:50 basis between the Central government and the state government is restricted to 25 percent of the total procurement value which includes cost of the commodity procured plus permitted overhead expenses.
“Under the scheme, in accordance with MIS guidelines, a pre-determined quantity at the fixed MIP (market intervention price) is procured by the agencies designated by the state government for a fixed period or till the prices are stabilized above the MIP whichever is earlier,” said the circular.