Zia Haq reports on public policy, economy and agriculture. Particularly interested in development economics and growth theories.
Articles by Zia Haq
Fresh storms, hail rain misery on farmers
A fresh bout of stormy weather brought heavy rain and hail, and more misery for the agriculture sector, this week with farmers, meteorologists and commodity traders fearing significant damage to key rabi crops and held up harvesting
Updated on Mar 26, 2023 04:53 AM IST
Enough fertilisers for kharif season: Centre
India will have sufficient stocks of key fertilisers for the kharif (summer-sown) season beginning next month and won’t need to import at least two types of crop nutrients as they are aplenty, Union minister of chemicals and fertilisers and health, Mansukh Mandaviya, said on Wednesday
Published on Mar 23, 2023 12:42 AM IST
Stormy weather impacts rabi crop amid shortages
Stormy weather that tore through several food bowl states over the past week has impacted rabi (winter-sown) crops including wheat in several pockets, a top central government official on Tuesday said.
Updated on Mar 22, 2023 03:01 AM IST
Centre may overhaul key PMSYM pension scheme
The PM Shram Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM), launched in 2019, is a voluntary, contribution based pension scheme to offer assured pension of ₹3,000 a month for informal workers who have no safety nets.
Updated on Mar 21, 2023 02:11 AM IST
Rain, hailstorm damage wheat crop in key states
Storms, rain or hail could batter almost the entire country for another two days, an update by the India Meteorological Department said on Sunday.
Updated on Mar 20, 2023 04:02 AM IST
Farmers receiving PM Kisan benefits decrease by 24 million, Parliament told
Payouts to cultivators under the scheme accordingly saw a reduction of 14% from ₹67,032 crore in 2021-22 to ₹57,646 crore in 2022-23, according to a written reply in the Lok Sabha on February 14.
Updated on Mar 16, 2023 01:08 AM IST
Indian consumers’ right to repair now spans four key sectors: official
The framework aims to ease access to overhauling services not just by original manufacturers but also by reliable third-party technicians to lower costs and lengthen shelf life of devices and appliances
Published on Mar 15, 2023 12:12 AM IST
Wheat thrives as heat spell remains absent so far: Centre’s review
A record hot spell in March last year crimped output of the staple in the world’s second-largest grower by 2.5% to 106 million tonne.
Updated on Mar 14, 2023 04:54 AM IST
Retail inflation eases slightly to 6.44% in February; milk, cereals up
The food and beverages inflation index, which has been elevated due to extreme weather and global headwinds, stood at 6.26% during the month against 6.19% in January.
Farmers switch crops amid concerns over climate crisis
India is among countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which can roil its farm sector, still the biggest source of employment, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report.
Published on Mar 13, 2023 12:02 AM IST
Infrastructure quality to be bolstered amid climate, seismic fears
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is revamping an array of design norms and quality benchmarks, from oil pipelines to steel and concrete buildings, a move that will span all sectors of Asia’s third largest economy, several officials said.
Updated on Mar 07, 2023 04:36 AM IST
Govt to double down on rice, millet stocking amid heat threat to wheat yield
To tide over any shortage, the government has doubled down on paddy purchases and has asked states that grow millets to draw up elaborate networks to buy the hardy cereals
Updated on Mar 05, 2023 05:03 AM IST
No damage to wheat, expect record output: Centre after key meet
New Delhi: The Union government on Wednesday said it expected record wheat output, despite predictions of crop-damaging heat in March, following a key stock-taking meeting with state food departments, people familiar with the matter said
Published on Mar 02, 2023 01:10 AM IST
GDP slows to 4.4% in Oct-Dec quarter: Govt data
NEW DELHI: India’s economy grew 4
Centre steps in as onion prices plummet due to supply surplus
The world is battling an onion crisis, prompting a World Bank warning last month, but in India prices have fallen so low that some farmers are letting their produce rot, according to growers and traders
Published on Feb 27, 2023 01:02 AM IST
India unlikely to ease ban on wheat export
Stocks of the grain in the world’s second-largest grower plunged after a heatwave cut output by 2.5% to about 106 million tonnes in 2022
Wheat auctioning fails to curb prices
The Union government’s decision to sell 5 million tonnes of wheat in the open market through staggered auctions to cool prices has not brought down retail rates of the staple beyond a quarter point
Published on Feb 23, 2023 01:42 AM IST
Centre forms panel to save wheat from heat
Last year, a similar disastrous hot spell in March, when temperatures leapt to record highs, crippled wheat yields as output shrank 2.5% in the world’s second-largest producer, stoking a crisis-like situation.
Updated on Feb 22, 2023 04:46 AM IST
Key fertiliser maker slashes prices by 14%
India’s largest manufacturer of fertilizers, IFFCO Ltd, has decided to cut prices of a widely used mix of crop nutrients by nearly 14%, according to a company executive, a move that will help lower farming costs and subsidies in a year of global food crisis which is driven in part by higher costs of agricultural chemicals
Published on Feb 21, 2023 01:07 AM IST
Centre cracks down on hoarders of pulses, other farm produce
The govt’s move comes following rising consumer inflation, which hit a three-month high in January at 6.52%.
Published on Feb 19, 2023 01:18 AM IST
Wheat crop robust, but likely early summer sounds alarm
Wheat growers are worried about a repeat of last year’s disastrous early summer that shriveled crops, with temperatures rising steadily over northwestern plains, prompting top agricultural bodies to caution farmers.
Published on Feb 18, 2023 12:51 AM IST
IIM Rohtak to monitor programme to curb paddy residue burning
The Rohtak-based institute will carry out field assessments to see if machinery, funding, and current measures are good enough
Updated on Feb 17, 2023 08:21 AM IST
Massive food-purchase plans on anvil: Officials
Geopolitical uncertainties, global supply-chain disruptions due to the knock-on effects of the pandemic, and depleted state-owned cereal stocks are the main reasons for expansion of procurement, which refers to the government’s purchases of foodgrains at benchmark floor rates known as minimum support prices (MSP), one of the officials said.
Updated on Feb 17, 2023 01:30 AM IST
India likely to continue curbs on wheat, rice exports
The government banned wheat exports in May last year as overseas sales from the world’s second-largest producer rose due to the Ukraine war at a time when production fell 2.5% due to a heatwave, straining availability.
Updated on Feb 13, 2023 05:54 AM IST
Agri exports in first 3 quarters hit record $20bn in 12.6% jump
Overseas shipments were boosted by basmati rice, which registered a 16% increase in value terms, a surprising 92% jump in exports of pulses and 25% in fresh vegetables, mainly to demand from the US, UAE and China, latest data from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority show.
Updated on Feb 09, 2023 05:06 AM IST
This Valentine’s Day, hug a cow, says Animal Welfare Board
The board, in its notice, said the decision was taken on instructions of the ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying.
Updated on Feb 09, 2023 04:41 AM IST
RBI hikes key rate to 6.50% to tamp down sticky core inflation
Central banks typically raise the repo rate – the interest rate at which commercial banks borrow money by selling their securities to the Reserve Bank – to shrink money supply in the economy
Costlier wheat hits staples; flour prices get 22% higher
In 2022, India was hoping to harvest 110 million tonne of wheat, but a prolonged heatwave around reaping time crimped output to 106.84 million tonne, about 2.5% lower than the preceding year’s 109.59 million tonne.
Published on Feb 07, 2023 12:12 AM IST
FCI back to off-budget borrowing to meet food subsidy, other costs
Off-budget funding refers to the practice of financing an expenditure that is not fully accounted for in budgetary allocations. It often helps the government to lower the fiscal deficit number.
Updated on Feb 06, 2023 05:46 AM IST
Union Budget: Disappointed by no increase in PM-Kisan payouts, say farmers
The agriculture sector, the country’s largest employer, has grown at an average annual growth rate of 4.6% in the last six years, according to data from the annual Economic Survey 2022-23.