New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) The government on Friday did neither confirm nor rule out the possibility of a package or scheme to address agrarian discontent ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
“The government is determined for improving the condition of farmers. Several steps have been taken to increase their income. We will inform you of the steps taken in the future,” Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while briefing reporters about cabinet decisions.
He was asked if the government is considering a package for farmers.
Top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had on Wednesday held consultations on issues concerning farmers amid indications that agrarian problems could be a factor in the BJP’s ouster from three Hindi heartland states.
The Congress had vociferously raised issues concerning farmers during the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and promised farm loan waivers.
The government on Friday increased the export incentives granted for onions under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) from existing five per cent to 10 per cent.
It also gave its approval for increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Fair Average Quality of milling copra from Rs 7,511 per quintal in 2018 to Rs 9,521 for 2019 season and that of ball copra to Rs 9,920 per quintal from Rs 7,750.