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Centre to seek Election Commission’s nod for 40-60% MSP hike for forest items
Oct 12, 2018

The government would seek Election Commission’s permission to effect a steep 40-60% increase in the minimum support price (MSP) of minor forest produce (MFP) in tribal dominated states — a move which would benefit tribals in pollbound BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh which have a sizeable tribal population. 
The government will finally use the same parameters for fixing MSP for MFP as is done by the Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices. The scheme, which was launched by the Congress-led UPA government in 2013-14, involves fixing MSP for 24 identified minor forest produce which are collected by tribals in remote areas. 
These tribals then sell MFPs in village haats. If the market prices fall below MSP, state government agencies move in to procure the minor forest produce. The tribal affairs ministry – whose marketing arm, the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), is the nodal agency for the scheme – will seek the Election Commission’s permission for the increase. 
The MSP increase will be finalised over the next few weeks, TRIFED managing director Pravir Krishna told ET. We will seek the Election Commission’s permission to introduce the hike in poll-bound states.