New Delhi: The central government on Thursday hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for rabi crops for the 2015-16 season. It raised the MSP of wheat by Rs.75 and that of grams and masur dal by Rs.250.

Briefing reporters after the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Power Minsiter Piyush Goyal said the government has decided to give bonus of Rs.75 per quintal for pulses over the recommendations made by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

He said this has been done in view of the gap between demand and domestic supply of pulses.

The minister said the MSP of wheat, which was Rs.1,450 per quintal for 2014-15 had been hiked to Rs.1,525 per quintal for 2015-16 season marking an increase of 5.2 percent.

Goyal said MSP for barley has been raised from Rs.1,150 per quintal to Rs.1,225, of gram from Rs.3,175 to Rs.3,425, masur from Rs.3,075 to Rs.3,325, rapeseed/mustard from Rs.3,100 to Rs.3,350 and safflower from Rs.3,050 to Rs.3,300.

The CCEA meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"CCEA has given its approval for the MSPs for rabi crops of 2015-16 season to be marketed in 2016-17. The decision is based on recommendations of CACP," a release said.

It said higher MSPs, which would be effective from the rabi marketing season 2016-17, would increase investment and production through assured remunerative prices to farmers.

The cabinet also directed that Food Corporation of India would be the central nodal agency for procurement of pulses and oilseeds.

"To supplement the efforts of FCI, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited, National Cooperative Consumers' Federation, Central Warehousing Corporation and Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium may also undertake procurement of oilseeds and pulses as per their capacity," the release said.

It said apart from increase in MSP of rabi crops, the government has taken several other farmer friendly initiatives over the last one year including Soil Health Card scheme and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.

The release said an initiative was being taken to set up a National Agriculture Market which would enable farmers to overcome the impediments in marketing of agricultural produce and get better price.

"A common e-market platform is being created and would be provided free of cost to states," the release said

It said the government has taken steps to introduce electronic trading, which will facilitate single license for trading in the whole country.

The government was also encouraging formation of farmer producer organisations, the release added.