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Zia Haq

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

Articles by Zia Haq

Less cash for PM AASHA will not affect procurement: Officials

Launched in 2018, PM-AASHA was seen as a tool to ensure remunerative prices to farmers for crops other than cereals.

Schemes like PM-AASHA are meant to be activated only when prices of pulses and oilseeds fall below MSP levels(HT FILE/Bachchan Kumar)
Published on Feb 05, 2024 06:05 PM IST

Centre to sell subsidised rice under Bharat brand

The government already sells subsidised Bharat Atta at ₹27.50 per kg and Bharat Dal at ₹60 per kg.

Higher costs of food impact poorer households more than the well-off since the former tend to spend a larger share of their of the monthly budget on food items (AFP)
Updated on Feb 03, 2024 01:44 AM IST

Budget 2024: A little more for all labharathis? Focus on ‘core of core’ schemes

Budget 2024: Centrally sponsored schemes are implemented by states but are largely funded by the Union government with a defined share of state governments.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaves the finance ministry ahead of the presentation of the interim budget in Parliament. (Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Updated on Feb 02, 2024 05:39 AM IST

Big jump in MNREGS allocation, marginal hike for other welfare plans

₹86000 crore has been allocated for the make-work MNREGS programme for 2023-24, up 43% from budget estimates of ₹60000 (2023-24)

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds up a folder as she leaves her office to present the interim budget. (REUTERS)
Published on Feb 01, 2024 06:01 PM IST

Mozambique dispute disrupts pulses import, prices rise

A lower pigeon pea crop in 2022-23 is likely to increase India’s import demand and traders are now looking to Myanmar to fill the gap

According to IGrain’s data, India had imported 142000 tonnes of pigeon pea from Mozambique between April and October 2023.
Published on Jan 26, 2024 05:53 PM IST

Dispute between 2 Mozambican firms disrupts import of pulses to India, prices surge

A lower pigeon pea crop in 2022-23 is likely to increase India’s import demand and traders are now looking to Myanmar to fill the gap.

According to IGrain’s data, India imported 142,000 tonnes of pigeon pea from Mozambique between April and October 2023 (Bloomberg File)
Published on Jan 26, 2024 03:03 PM IST

Weather forecast for spring to decide on fate of wheat output

Cooler temperatures during February and March are essential for a bumper wheat output. As things stand, the El Nino outlook is not encouraging

India expects a record output of 114 million tonnes if weather conditions remain conducive, (ANI FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 26, 2024 02:43 PM IST

Red Sea crisis hurts Indian exports as costs soar

Nearly 80% of India’s trade with Europe passes via the Red Sea. But soaring shipping costs and rising oil prices are stoking fears of renewed inflation

FILE PHOTO: People walk on the beach as a container ship crosses the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea before entering the Suez Canal, in El Ain El Sokhna in Suez, east of Cairo, Egypt April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo(REUTERS)
Published on Jan 23, 2024 06:14 PM IST

Cooperatives set up in ’23 reap rural gains

Three national cooperatives in India are driving the country's rural economy through exports, seed production, and farm produce procurement.

Union minister of cooperation Amit Shah (ANI)
Updated on Jan 22, 2024 04:37 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Wheat output set for a record high, sowing area crosses 34mn hectares

Higher wheat output will help put a lid on prices and could prompt the world’s second-biggest producer of the grain to lift a ban on exports of the staple

On January 3, Food Corporation of India chairman and managing director Ashok KK Meena said that the country could harvest a record 114 million tonnes in the 2023-24 crop year provided weather conditions remained conducive (HT)
Updated on Jan 20, 2024 07:16 AM IST
By, New Delhi

On Amazon, snacks sold as Ram temple ‘prasad’; govt panel issues notice

Authorities examined samples of such brands and found the label ‘prasad’ (consecrated offering to the deity) from the Ram temple, Ayodhya, to be “misleading”

 (Representative Photo)
Updated on Jan 20, 2024 10:00 AM IST

No shortage of fertilisers but Red Sea crisis hampering shipments: Mandaviya

India will have no shortage of fertilisers critical for the country’s food security as there are adequate reserves amid a deepening Red Sea crisis, Union minister for health, fertilisers and chemicals Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya. (ANI)
Updated on Jan 18, 2024 08:40 AM IST

For energy security, Indian govt looks at maize

The Union government has signed off on a plan to procure maize at federally fixed minimum support prices while increasing output and productivity by expanding the area under cultivation as part of a strategy to meet India’s biofuel needs

A farmer irrigates a maize crop field on the outskirts of Bengaluru. (AFP)
Updated on Jan 17, 2024 06:22 AM IST
By, New Delhi

In 9 years, 248mn pulled out of multidimensional poverty: Niti Aayog paper

India’s so-called multidimensional poverty fell from 29.17% in 2013-14, when the Modi government assumed power, to 11.28% in 2022-23

In 9 years, 248mn pulled out of multidimensional poverty: Niti Aayog paper
Updated on Jan 16, 2024 09:29 AM IST

Centre forms panel to monitor Red Sea crisis effect on India

Indian government has set up an interministerial group to monitor the crisis in the Red Sea, which is disrupting global trade, including shipments from India.

FILE PHOTO: Container ships sail across the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea before entering the Suez Canal, in El Ain El Sokhna in Suez, east of Cairo, Egypt, March 17, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated on Jan 16, 2024 11:24 AM IST

FCI overhaul a landmark, says food minister on its 60th anniversary

In 2022-23, the FCI bought 76.56 million tonnes of paddy and 26.2 million tonnes of wheat from about 12.3 million cultivators, paying them ₹2.19 lakh crore in all

Union minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday addressed the FCI event virtually (Twitter/ video screengrab)
Published on Jan 14, 2024 03:27 PM IST

FCI uses AI-based equipment to detect frauds, says official

The corporation is mandated to buy “fair and average quality” grains that must confirm to technical specifications related to moisture content

The agency now uses AI-based grain sorters to examine the quality of wheat and rice it buys from farmers, which ensures poor produce is automatically vetted, the official said (AP)
Updated on Jan 14, 2024 12:36 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Not looking to lift curbs on export of food items: Goyal

The government is also constantly watching the crisis in the Red Sea, a major sea route for Indian exports, which is witnessing a violent regional spillover of Israel’s war with Hamas, Goyal said

In May 2022, the government banned overseas sales of wheat, followed by a prohibition on the export of rice and onion in 2023 (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 14, 2024 05:38 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Retail inflation at 4-month high, industry shows muted growth

Data released by the National Statistics Office on Friday showed the Index of Industrial Production in the world’s fifth-largest economy grew 2.4% in November

Cereals and vegetables were cheaper in December,compared to November but there was no let-up in the increase of overall food prices. (PTI)
Updated on Jan 12, 2024 06:56 PM IST

Farmers switch to heat-tolerant wheat to fight climate crisis impact

Taking steps to mitigate the impacts of climate change, cultivators in key food-bowl states have switched to heat-tolerant wheat varieties on a large scale this season.

In 2022, scorching weather restricted wheat production to about 100 million tonnes. (AP)
Updated on Jan 10, 2024 07:22 AM IST

‘No 100% selection promise in ads by coaching centres’

experts say the COMPETITION AMONG STUDENTS ALONG WITH exaggerated assurances of success often drive aspirants to suicide

HT Image
Updated on Jan 10, 2024 05:42 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Jan Aushadi stores to help save health care costs: Amit Shah

India will have nearly 200,000 primary agricultural cooperative societies or PACS in the next five years, Amit Shah said.

Union home minister Amit Shah arrives to chair the 'National PACS Mega Conclave' on Primary Agricultural Credit Societies as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Monday (ANI)
Updated on Jan 09, 2024 02:53 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Centre plans to make north shrimp-output hub

The Union government is working on an aquaculture plan worth ₹576 crore in four northern states to create a hub of farming shrimp for export and domestic consumption by utilizing land unsuitable for crops/

India is currently the second-largest aquaculture shrimp producer at 900,000 tonne in 2022, after Ecuador. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 08, 2024 07:22 AM IST
By, New Delhi

India’s GDP to grow 7.3% in FY 2024, says govt estimate

Projections of strong growth amid six hikes of the repo rate by the central bank since 2022 come ahead of the Union Budget in February

FILE PHOTO: Labourers work at a construction site of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail corridor in Ahmedabad (REUTERS)
Updated on Jan 05, 2024 11:19 PM IST

Overseas orders and busy wedding season boost basmati rice business

Basmati, prized for its aroma and long grain, is witnessing a demand surge from traditional global buyers in the Middle East, the US and European Union.

In the new season, over 600,000 tonne have been contracted for exports, while the value of overseas shipments totalled over $3 billion till November, bulk buyers said (HT)
Updated on Dec 31, 2023 01:27 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Zia Haq picks his favourite read of 2023

As India surges ahead as the fastest-growing economy in the world, a new book shows that the nation needs more social welfare investment to keep up with poorer neighbours who have raced ahead in health and nutrition

Putting growth in its place (Context)
Updated on Dec 29, 2023 05:31 PM IST

Ahead of polls, govt to sell Bharat brand subsidised staples

Centre is planning to scale up output and sales of basic commodities, such as Bharat Atta and Bharat Dal, its subsidised brand of wheat flour and lentils

 The Bharat Atta and Bharat Dal brand
Updated on Dec 29, 2023 12:43 AM IST

Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Centre to sell Bharat brand subsidised staples

The government is also considering offering subsidized rice and restricting the amount of grain traders can stock to boost supplies.

Consumer prices rose by 5.55% in November, driven by food items, snapping a three-month decline, according to official data.
Updated on Dec 29, 2023 05:24 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Red Sea strikes alarm basmati exporters, govt advises caution

Shippers of Indian basmati rice are concerned about the Middle East conflict after two cargo vessels were struck by drones in the Red Sea. This could force suppliers to change routes and increase costs. The Red Sea route is important for India's sea trade to Africa, the Middle East, and the EU. Additionally, the surge in basmati rice exports due to higher demand from the Middle East has raised prices for farmers. India has banned shipments of other rice varieties to cool domestic prices, so increased basmati exports could help narrow the agricultural trade gap.

Red Sea strikes alarm basmati exporters, govt advises caution
Updated on Dec 26, 2023 08:28 AM IST

2023: A year of food-price and climate shocks

The year was particularly challenging one, as the country was hit by intense heatwaves, erratic rains, floods, droughts, storms and cyclones

The country prohibited overseas shipments of wheat in March 2022, white rice in July this year and onions this month. (PTI)
Updated on Dec 25, 2023 04:35 PM IST
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