The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved a proposal to provide the ailing sugar industry with interest-free loan to help them pay off sugarcane arrears.
Under the approved plan, struggling sugar mills will be given interest-free loans of Rs 6,600 crore. This bailout package was announced in the wake of soaring cane arrears.
After slipping to Rs 50 a kg around a fortnight back, onion prices have once again soared to as high as Rs 75-80 a kg in many parts of India.
The biggest reason behind the drastic rise in prices of the vegetable is severe shortages in supply. Onion's biggest producers, such as Maharashtra, suffered heavy rainfall earlier this year, causing a drastic drop in output.
Onion retail prices Delhi and other parts of the country remained high on Monday as supply continued lagging behind demand.
In the national capital, average onion retail price was recorded at Rs70 (US$1.09) per kilogram, mainly due to lower supply of the eatable in wholesale markets.
In the wholesale markets, onions are selling at rates ranging between Rs 45 to Rs 50 per kilogram, depending on the quality of the product.
An official from the National Horticulture Research & Development Foundation (NHRDF) said that onion prices would likely remain high in the near future.
Squeezed supply has pushed onion prices to unprecedented highs in metropolitan areas like Delhi and Mumbai.
The average retail price of onion in Mumbai jumped to Rs 65 per kilogram on Monday, which shows a big increase from Rs 20 per kilogram just a couple of months back.
In Delhi, average retail price of onion reached an unprecedented height of around Rs 80 per kilogram.
The Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) gave a fresh blow to the Congress-led UPA government by pointing out to allegedly serious discrepancies in the implementation of the Rs 71,680-crore agricultural debt waiver scheme, which had helped the coalition in getting back to power in 2009.
The one-time agricultural loan waiver and debt relief scheme was implemented for small and marginal farmers ahead of the 2009 general elections.
Food ministry has shown its disfavor to a proposal put infront of it by the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP) where they have asked for raising the minimum support price of paddy by Rs 160 per quintal to Rs
1,160 a quintal for 2011-12 crop year.
Same MSP was at Rs 1,000 a quintal last year.
CACP has made such suggestions to be followed in case of 40-agric commodities. As for paddy the total amount proposed consists of base price plus a bonus.
It has been reported in the Economic Survey 2011 that the agriculture sector needs to grow 8.5% during 2011-12. Though the scenario of agriculture sector in this year is quite comprehensive, but in the next year it is going to face some real trouble. This year, the country had seen a relative good monsoon and it has helped the sector to manage an expected level of growth. But the inflation rate has gone up equally.
It has been expected that the agri sector may grow at 5.4% as per the 2010-11 as mentioned in the Economic Survey.
Known agriculture scientist credited with bringing the second green revolution in the country, M.S. Swaminathan has urged the young scientists in the country to use science and technology for attaining sustainable development.
He asked the young scientists to harness science and technology to shape the ecological, economic and social future of the country. He said steps should be taken to utilize the available financial resources and insurance should be used to reduce risks.
The oyster suppliers are struggling to fulfill the fresh demands for oyster because of the BP oil spill. A survey suggests that 70% of oysters eaten in the US come from the Gulf.
But now the Gulf is totally damaged by the leaked oil from the oil spill. As a result the supply of oyster is down. At the same time the prices of this oyster is very high. The restaurants are not getting oysters for their customers.
The agricultural sector in India is expected to see steady growth in the year 2012-2017 which is the years of the XII Plan. The Planning Commission of India said “The 4-per cent agriculture growth is a good target for the XII Plan, which could not be achieved so far as envisaged in the XI Plan (2007-12).”