With an eye on the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the government decided on Thursday to factor in the premium paid by farmers for crop insurance as well as marketing and transport charges while fixing the minimum support price of various crops.
According to a decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices will consider the above elements while recommending the MSP.
The CACP, an advisory body under the agriculture ministry, recommends MSPs of over 20 crops, including wheat and rice.
The CCEA also approved a joint study by the CACP and the Directorate of Economics and Statistics to ascertain the spread of expenditure vis-a-vis borrowing to assess the interest burden on farmers.
The CCEA also approved four- and six-laning of various sections of National Highway-18 and National Highway-47 at a cost of Rs 3,084 crore (Rs 30.84 billion).
"The government will provide viability gap funding , which will not exceed 40 per cent of the total project cost," said Home Minister P Chidambaram after the meeting in New Delhi.
Four-laning of the Cuddapah-Mydukur-Kurnool section of NH-18 in Andhra Pradesh under the National Highways Development Project-III on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis will cost Rs 1754.12 crore (Rs 17.54 billion).
The CCEA also approved continuation of the 'Investigation of Water Resources
Development Schemes', having an outlay of Rs 222.80 crore (Rs 2.22 billion) during the Eleventh Plan period.
The government has created a post of joint secretary in the Department of Pharmaceuticals under the aegis of the chemicals and fertiliser ministry.
The Cabinet approved a proposal to de-link the pay of professors, associate professors and assistant professors of Indian Statistical Institute from UGC pay scales.
The pay scales of heads and members of the Union Public Service Commission and the Central Vigilance Commission have been revised.