This refers to the editorial “Time to reform wheat” (January 3). For producers, the Union Cabinet’s decision to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat by merely Rs 65 per quintal is an act of mockery. In 2008-09, wheat MSP was increased from Rs 850 to Rs 1,000 (17.7 per cent) and from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,100 (10.2 per cent) in 2009-10. The Centre’s export target of 2.5 million tonnes may be achievable, given the Food Corporation of India’s buffer stock of wheat is three times more than required. This may be the reason for the Centre’s indifference to the needs of the farming community. The government is, indirectly, discouraging farming of wheat and rice, especially in the northern states. With the increasing agricultural produce cost, how will the farming community benefit by such a small rise in wheat MSP? The government should balance the cost borne by producers and prices paid by consumers. Moreover, hoarding food grains should be checked, so that middlemen do not indulge in squaring up profits from retail sale of grains.
Yugal Kishore Sharma Jalandhar
In the review of the book Doing what is right: The CRISIL Story (January 4), the reviewer Madan Sabnavis is Chief Economist, CARE Ratings.
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