Zia Haq

Zia Haq reports on public policy, economy and agriculture. Particularly interested in development economics and growth theories.

Articles by Zia Haq

Mughal-era practice behind unclear food output estimates?

India's government has admitted that its estimate of wheat output for the 2022-23 season is under dispute, with grain traders arguing that production could not have been more than 102-103 million tonnes, compared to the government's estimate of 112-113 million tonnes. The discrepancy has led to high cereal inflation in the country, despite expectations of falling prices and substantial state-held stocks. The government is now planning to use technology-driven models to improve its crop estimates and ensure more accurate data in the future.

HT Image
Updated on Sep 30, 2023 11:57 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Follow directive on release of Cauvery water to TN, panel tells Karnataka

A top panel mandated to oversee sharing of water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu asked the former to follow directions issued earlier by a regulatory body.

Kannada activists burn an effigy of Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin, in Karnataka’s Chikmagalur, on Friday. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 30, 2023 08:37 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Cauvery dispute: Row deepens as Karnataka asked to release 3000 cu water to TN

On September 26, the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) had asked the Karnataka government to release 3000 cusecs water per second to its neighbour from September 26

The Cauvery interstate basin originates in Karnataka and threads its way through Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (File Photo)
Published on Sep 29, 2023 05:21 PM IST

At heart of Swaminathan’s work, dignity of labour, and life, to India’s farmers

Swaminathan ushered in India’s Green Revolution in late 1960s by massively ramping up cereal production by collaborating with US farm scientist Norman Borlaug.

Agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan known as father of India’s Green Revolution died in Chennai at 98 (PTI)
Updated on Sep 29, 2023 04:44 AM IST
By, New Delhi

M.S. Swaminathan: Agriculturalist who sparked a revolution dies at 98

Swaminathan, the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, and the World Food Prize, widely known as the father of the Green Revolution, died in Chennai on Thursday.

Swaminathan was a renowned agricultural scientist who revolutionised India’s farming. (AP file photo)(HT_PRINT)
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 09:23 PM IST
By, New Delhi

MS Swaminathan, the father of Green Revolution, dies

In the late 1960s and 1970s, the agriculturalist was instrumental in bringing industrial farming to India, making the country self-sufficient in food and reducing widespread hunger

Swaminathan was a renowned agricultural scientist who revolutionised India’s farming. (AP file photo)
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 05:06 PM IST

Steps to curb inflation cost farmers 45, 000 crore: Study

Indian farmers have lost at least INR 450bn ($6bn) in income this year due to measures implemented to curb inflation, according to a paper by economists at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. High inflation, largely driven by food prices, has led the government to impose restrictions on the trade of food commodities and introduce export taxes, reducing farmers' incomes. The government has underestimated the impact of these measures, with the price of cereals remaining high. A deficient monsoon has also raised concerns over a fall in food output, particularly of pulses, sugar and oilseeds.

Steps to curb inflation cost farmers <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>45, 000 crore: Study
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 09:58 AM IST

India to ship rice to UAE, 4th country to get grain since export ban

India, the world’s largest exporter of rice, barred overseas sales in July to cool high cereal inflation, which continues to be in double digits

Rice prices in Asia rebounded on escalating concerns around supply as top exporter India implemented more restrictions on its shipments (Bloomberg File)
Updated on Sep 26, 2023 06:30 PM IST

Govt extends stock holding limits for pulses till December 3

A deficient south-west monsoon due to the El Nino weather pattern has shrunk the area sown with various types of widely consumed pulses

In June, to ease supplies of pulses amid high inflation, the Centre had imposed caps on the quantity of two widely consumed variety of pulses -- tur (pigeon pea) and urad (black gram) – that traders were allowed to store, a measure known as stockholding limits. (Bloomberg)
Published on Sep 26, 2023 12:55 AM IST

Centre imposes harsher measures to prevent pulses hoarding

Stock limits, imposed under the Essential Commodities Act, ensure traders and wholesalers can’t hold more than the prescribed quantities of a commodity, thereby minimising the scope of hoarding to inflate prices

n June, to ease supplies of pulses amid high inflation, the Centre had imposed caps on the quantity of two widely consumed varieties of pulses – tur (pigeon pea) and urad (black gram) (Representative Photo)
Published on Sep 25, 2023 07:54 PM IST

As rains revive, paddy sowing hits record

Paddy acreage is 2.7% higher than the corresponding period of last year and 3% higher than the normal area as calculated by the agriculture ministry.

The area under kharif or summer rice has expanded to a record 41.15 million hectares as on September 22. (HT Archive)
Updated on Sep 24, 2023 05:03 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Strain in ties with Canada could impact import of lentils, say traders

Diplomatic tensions between Canada and India may impact the import of lentils from Canada, as traders look to shift to Australia.

A shopkeeper selling pulses waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi on June 1, 2023. (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP) (AFP)
Updated on Sep 22, 2023 06:35 AM IST

India likely to achieve its rice output goal for kharif season

The country is likely to achieve its rice-output target of 111 million tonnes during the ongoing kharif or summer-sown season, senior farm ministry official said

Indian is likely to achieve its rice-output target during this kharif season, say a senior farm ministry official. (HT Archive)
Updated on Sep 20, 2023 12:44 AM IST

House bids adieu to grand rotunda

Modi leads tributes as mother of democracy spends last day in old home, sets sights on a historic beginning in new Parliament building

HT Image
Published on Sep 19, 2023 12:10 AM IST
By, New Delhi

PM Modi makes major conciliatory speech as nation transitions to new Parliament

Future proceedings of Parliament will commence from a modern building complex, next to the old one, which PM Narendra Modi had inaugurated in May this year

The PM Modi-led government has called a special session from September 18 to September 22. (PTI Photo)
Updated on Sep 18, 2023 03:22 PM IST

Reforms needed to fix volatility in prices of tomato, onion and potato

Tomatoes have gone from being pricier (per kg) than petrol (per litre), to being cheaper than packaged water at the wholesale level

Food policies that are less restrictive and more investment friendly can help minimise post-harvest losses by creating the infrastructure needed to store and process perishables, analysts say. (REUTERS)
Updated on Sep 16, 2023 01:59 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Analysis: 15 years after Lehman, have we learnt the lessons?

The Subprime mortgage crisis, which sparked the 2008 crisis, refers to subprime borrowers of home loans. Some borrowers were labelled “Subprime” because of their risky creditworthiness

Collapse of Lehman Brothers took place in 2008 (Representative Photo)
Published on Sep 15, 2023 01:34 PM IST

Centre rolls out measures to curb cereal prices

The food secretary said the government expected a bumper rice crop despite a patchy monsoon because of robust acreage.

A number of anti-inflation measures over the past several hasn’t stamped out food inflation, especially in cereals. (Reuters file photo)(HT_PRINT)
Updated on Sep 15, 2023 01:41 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Govt announces more stringent measures to tame food prices

Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra said there was sufficient availability of key commodities but there were attempts to create artificial scarcity

Workers fill sacks with wheat at the market yard of the Agriculture Product Marketing Committee on the outskirts of Ahmedabad (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
Published on Sep 14, 2023 06:34 PM IST

Tomatoes at 2/kg, farmers dump stock

The prices of tomatoes have crashed in major markets on oversupply, going from nearly ₹8000 a quintal to ₹200-300 a quintal

The prices of tomatoes falls, bringing relief to most households. (ANI)
Updated on Sep 14, 2023 12:25 AM IST

India, Russia to set up alternative trade route: Sarbananda Sonowal

Sarbananda Sonowal said a workshop on the eastern maritime corridor will be convened in Chennai on October 31 and November 1

Sarbananda Sonowal said the operationalisation of eastern maritime corridor will usher a new era of trade relationship between India and Russia. (X/@sarbanandsonwal)
Published on Sep 13, 2023 01:43 PM IST

Govt seeks sugar sale data of last 4 months

Millers have to declare quantities sold to each client from May through August, including to traders, wholesalers, chain retailers and supermarkets

The instruction was issued because the government fears possible hoarding to raise prices in the world’s biggest consumer of the sweetener during the festival season (AP)
Published on Sep 13, 2023 01:42 PM IST

Govt seeks details of sugar sales over past 4 months to check hoarding

Millers have to declare quantities sold to each client from May through August, including to traders, wholesalers, chain retailers and supermarkets

To crack down on hoarding, the government has specified a submission format of sales data, which should include name of buyers, their tax records and phone numbers. (HT FILE)
Published on Sep 13, 2023 01:39 PM IST

Retail inflation cools in August at 6.83%, but stays above target

Consumer inflation rose at a slower pace in August, compared to July’s 7.44%, which was a 15-month high

Consumer price inflation exceeded the central bank’s target range for the second straight month (REUTERS)
Published on Sep 12, 2023 06:18 PM IST

It’s Rangolis and raining millets: How G20 heads’ spouses got a taste of India

The visitors witnessed climate-resistant crops, transforming technologies by 15 agri startups, and interacted with farmers.

Partners of the heads of G20 countries at the National Agriculture Science Centre’s “Rangoli area” featuring two massive “millet Rangolis”. (HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 10, 2023 05:18 AM IST

Food Security | El Nino to keep food supplies tight, upside risk to inflation

The key concern is a dent in agriculture output at a time when food inflation is high and recovery in the rural economy still weak

The key concern is a dent in agriculture output at a time when food inflation is high and recovery in the rural economy still weak. (HT File)
Updated on Sep 09, 2023 10:15 AM IST

Govt seeks info on lentil stock to curb price manipulation

Undisclosed stocks will be treated as hoarding and action under the Essential Commodities Act will be initiated, according to the order

Centre invokes Essential Commodities Act, asking traders of lentils to declare stock held by them. (HT Archive)
Updated on Sep 07, 2023 01:07 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Deficient rains push sugar prices to six-year high

The country’s annual consumption of the sweetener is about 27 million tonne. The government said it is set to bring out official estimates of sugar production.

India is the world’s biggest consumer of sugar, which is tightly regulated by the government. (Representative image)
Updated on Sep 06, 2023 05:21 AM IST

Scant rainfall triggers low yield fears in crucial states

A weak southwest monsoon in India has led to drought-like conditions in some major food-bowl states, causing decline in crop yields and water and power crisis.

The worry among farmers comes at a time when consumer inflation has accelerated -- it was at a 15-month high of 7.44% in July -- with high food prices being among the primary drivers of the price rise.
Updated on Sep 04, 2023 01:37 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Crops under stress after driest August on record

A strengthening El Nino is causing drought in India, leading to a 35% decrease in rainfall in August and a 9% deficiency in the monsoon season. This could impact yields of important crops, such as soyabean, cotton, and pulses, which are produced in central Indian states. A sub-par monsoon could cut yields and push up food prices, which would have a negative impact on India's economy. The India Meteorological Department has forecasted a revival of the monsoon within a week, but private forecasters have said that the monsoon season this year is likely to be below normal.

Private forecasters have said that the June-September monsoon season this year is likely to be below normal and even IMD has indicated as much.
Updated on Sep 02, 2023 12:20 AM IST
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