Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday lauded the Union Cabinet’s decisions to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on 14 Kharif crops and the development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi.

The Prime Minister also praised the approval of the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for offshore wind energy projects and the development of a major port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all mandated Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2024-25.

“Our government is continuously taking important steps for the welfare of our farmer brothers and sisters across the country. In this direction, today the Cabinet has approved the increase in the minimum support price of all major Kharif crops for the year 2024-25,” PM Modi posted on X.

The government has increased the MSP of Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2024-25, to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce. The highest absolute increase in MSP over the previous year has been recommended for oilseeds and pulses viz. niger seed (Rs 983/- per quintal) followed by sesamum (Rs 632/- per quintal) and tur/arhar (Rs 550/- per quintal).
Cost data are not separately compiled for Paddy (Grade A), Jowar (Maldandi) and Cotton (Long staple).

“The increase in MSP for Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2024-25 is in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times the All-India weighted average cost of production, The expected margin to farmers over their cost of production is estimated to be highest in case of bajra (77 per cent) followed by tur (59 per cent), maize (54 per cent) and urad (52 per cent). For the rest of the crops, the margin to farmers over their cost of production is estimated to be at 50 per cent,” it added.

In recent years, the Government has been promoting the cultivation of crops, other than cereals such as pulses and oilseeds, and Nutri-cereals/ Shree Anna, by offering a higher MSP for these crops.

The Union Cabinet approved the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for offshore wind energy projects at a total outlay of Rs 7453 crore, including an outlay of Rs.6853 crore for installation and commissioning of 1 GW of offshore wind energy projects (500 MW each off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu), and grant of Rs 600 crore for upgradation of two ports to meet logistics requirements for offshore wind energy projects.

The Prime Minister further said that the “cabinet-decision”>Cabinet decision to approve a funding scheme for 1 GW offshore wind projects off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu will enhance our renewable energy capacity, reduce CO2 emissions and create numerous jobs.”

The VGF scheme is a major step towards implementation of the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy notified in 2015 to exploit the vast offshore wind energy potential that exists within the exclusive economic zone of India.

The VGF support from the Government will reduce the cost of power from offshore wind projects and make them viable for purchase by DISCOMs. While the projects will be established by private developers selected through a transparent bidding process, the power excavation infrastructure, including the offshore substations, will be constructed by Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL).

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, as the nodal ministry, will coordinate with various Ministries/Departments to ensure the successful implementation of the scheme.

The Union Cabinet approved the proposal of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi including the Construction of a New Terminal Building, Apron Extension, Runway Extension, Parallel Taxi Track and Allied works.

“Our government is committed to expanding connectivity across the country. In this direction, we have approved the development of Varanasi International Airport. This will make the lives of the people here easier, as well as provide great convenience to the pilgrims visiting Kashi,” PM Modi posted on X.

The estimated financial outgo will be Rs 2869.65 crore for enhancing the passenger handling capacity of the airport to 9.9 million passengers per annum (MPPA) from the existing 3.9 MPPA.

The New Terminal Building, which encompasses an area of 75,000 sqm is designed for a capacity of 6 MPPA and for handling 5000 Peak Hour Passengers (PHP). The proposal includes extending the runway to dimensions 4075m x 45m and constructing a new Apron to park 20 aircraft.

In a post on X, PM Modi said, “Today’s cabinet-decision”>Cabinet decision on developing a major port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra will boost economic progress and also create employment opportunities at a large scale.”

The Union Cabinet also approved Rs 2254.43 crore five-year Central Sector Scheme for the enhancement of forensic infrastructure in India.

The scheme underscores the importance of high-quality, trained forensic professionals in the timely and scientific examination of evidence for an efficient criminal justice process, leveraging the advancements in technology and evolving manifestations and methods of crime.

The financial outlay of the Central Sector Scheme “National Forensic Infrastructure Enhancement Scheme” (NFIES) will be provisioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs from its own budget.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Central Sector Scheme “with a total financial outlay of Rs 2254.43 crore during the period from 2024-25 to 2028-29.”

The Cabinet has approved three key components under this scheme: the establishment of Campuses of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) in the country, the establishment of Central Forensic Science Laboratories in the country, and the enhancement of the existing infrastructure of the Delhi Campus of the NFSU. (ANI)