New Delhi: Giving huge relief to farmers at this time of corona crisis, the Central government on Monday increased the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for 14 kharif crops by 50- 83%. An announcement to this effect was made by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar during a press briefing.Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown: New CM Bommai Hints at Imposing Strict Measures As COVID Cases Rise

Addressing the press conference, Narendra Singh Tomar said that the farmers will get more time to repay their loans till August now. Also Read - Delta Variant May Spread Like Chickenpox, Cause More Severe Infection Than Other Forms of COVID-19: Reports

The Agriculture Minister also said that the Central government has increased the cotton MSP by Rs 260 to Rs 5,515 per quintal for 2020-21. Also Read - After Kerala, Another Southern State Witnesses Steep Spike In Covid Cases

Apart from this, the Centre has also increased the MSP for paddy by Rs 53 per quintal to Rs 1,868 per quintal for the 2020-21 crop per year.

He said the MSP rate for Jowar now at Rs 2620/quintal, Bajra-Rs 2150/quintal, and 50% increase in Ragi, Moong, Groundnut, Soyabean, Til and Cotton, for the year 2020-21.

The announcements were made by the Union Agriculture Minister after PM Modi held a cabinet meeting with the ministers earlier in the day. Notably, this is the first cabinet meet of PM Modi after he began the second year of his second term.

The decision, taken by the Central government, will help farmers take a call on which kharif (summer) crop to grow as sowing picks up with the arrival of southwest monsoon. On the other hand, the Met Department has also projected normal monsoon during the June-September period.

As per updates, a decision could also be taken to bring in a new legislation to replace Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act. An ordinance to this effect might be brought in to enforce the law. Moreover, provisions to facilitate easy inter-state travel for farmers to sell their produce could also be made.

These crucial announcements were made by the Centre at a time when the nationwide lockdown is going on since March 24 till June 30. PM Modi had on March 24 last announced the nationwide lockdown.