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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

Farm fire cases on the decline, Parliament told

Incidents of paddy-stubble burning during a 45-day harvesting cycle in northern states in the current season have declined by 54

Farm fire cases on the decline, Parliament told
Updated on Dec 14, 2023 05:14 AM IST

Centre won’t revert to old pension scheme, Parliament told

The Union government has no plan to shift to the old pension scheme (OPS), which five states have opted for so far, the Centre told the Lok Sabha.

The Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority Act does not allow a transfer to the old pension scheme, minister of state for finance Pankaj Chaudhary said on Monday.(ANI)
Updated on Dec 13, 2023 01:05 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Inflation rises to a three-month high of 5.55%, driven by food costs

Retail inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, rose 5.55% in Nov 2023 from a year ago, up from 4.87% in October, but slightly below expectations

FILE PHOTO: Customers buy fruits and vegetables at an open air evening market in Ahmedabad (REUTERS)
Updated on Dec 12, 2023 08:54 PM IST

Govt to buy maize at MSP, raise output to meet biofuel needs

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

Procurement refers to the government’s purchases of food commodities at MSP — a floor price set to stave off distress sales by farmers (PTI)
Updated on Dec 10, 2023 06:26 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Govt bars onion export

The steps come amid anticipated lower output of food items due to a patchy summer monsoon and drought in some states.

The surge in prices has been led by vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and pulses, analysts said. Retail inflation was 4.87% in October, a four-month low. (Sunny Sehgal)
Published on Dec 09, 2023 04:35 PM IST

‘Monetary policy actively disinflationary’: RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.5%

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the central bank’s successive policy rate hikes, a reference to increases in interest rates, “seems to be working”

The Reserve Bank of India head office in Mumbai. (AFP Photo)
Published on Dec 08, 2023 10:38 AM IST

Procurement of rice by FCI fell in the last three years: Govt

Procurement of kharif or summer-sown rice by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has declined steadily over the past three years, data cited in a Parliament reply on Wednesday showed.

Procurement refers to the government’s purchases of rice from farmers at the floor or minimum support price. (HT file)
Updated on Dec 07, 2023 07:16 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Indian banks have been resilient despite global turmoil: Sitharaman

Indian banks remain healthy, strong and resilient despite a global turmoil, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (ANI)
Updated on Dec 06, 2023 02:07 AM IST

Hat-trick points to a hat-trick in 2024, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the Bharatiya Janata Party's victories in three heartland states as an endorsement of his policies and a sign of a hat-trick win in the 2024 general elections. Modi highlighted the support of women, youth, farmers, and the poor, and warned the opposition against negativity. The BJP won three out of four state elections held in November, with Congress winning in Telangana. Modi also accused the Congress of attempting to divide the country on the basis of caste. He promised to fulfill the promises made to women and mothers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 04, 2023 06:58 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Tap export markets, create economic zones for co-ops, says expert panel

Some of the recommendations, such as priority for export-oriented cooperatives, are already under implementation

HT Image
Updated on Nov 25, 2023 07:02 AM IST

India vulnerable to food-price shocks, warns RBI Governor

India’s retail inflation eased to a three-month low of 5.02% in September on the back of softer vegetable prices, higher than the target of 4%

This is the RBI governor’s second warning in a month about the risks from food inflation. (PTI Photo)
Published on Nov 22, 2023 01:22 PM IST

Fund for Centre’s anti-inflation intervention in need of 5.5k-cr

The consumer affairs ministry in India urgently needs ₹5500 crore ($800 million) for a fund that helps control food prices and maintain emergency reserves of key commodities. The ministry is exploring ways to meet the cash demand, including borrowings and advances. The fund, set up by the Modi government, allows the government to release items such as onions and pulses during shortages and price spirals. The current budget allocation for the fund is just ₹100,000, and the ministry is relying on a revolving fund of ₹250 crore, which is insufficient to meet its operations.

HT Image
Updated on Nov 12, 2023 05:12 AM IST

By next week, refund airfares for bookings during lockdown: Govt to travel aggregators

The Indian government has instructed online travel platforms to process all pending fare refunds from the pandemic lockdown period by next week. The government has set a deadline for travel aggregators to return fares to customers who booked tickets during the lockdown period, and follow-up actions will be taken to ensure compliance. The Central Consumer Protection Authority has issued notices to several online travel platforms and travel agencies, and an investigation is ongoing into non-compliance and irregularities. Additionally, the government is cracking down on "dark patterns" on travel websites, which are design tactics intended to deceive consumers.

HT Image
Updated on Nov 09, 2023 06:04 AM IST

Centre rolls out subsidised ‘Bharat Atta’ at 27.50/kg ahead of Diwali

Under the scheme, flour will be sold at a cut price of ₹27.50 per kilo, compared to the market price of ₹32-34 per kg.

The launch of Bharat Atta (Twitter)
Updated on Nov 07, 2023 05:01 AM IST

Union govt starts selling onions at reduced rates as prices soar

Lower supplies due to delayed harvests of the summer crop have driven prices of the commonly consumed vegetable for a second time in the past six months

Centre starts selling onions to at a subsidised rate to cool prices by boosting availability. (ANI)
Updated on Nov 02, 2023 04:51 AM IST

Supply shock triggered by uneven monsoon spurs onion price surge

A fresh supply shock triggered by a deficient monsoon has led to a surge in onion prices, which have more than doubled within a fortnight in several states, as the Union government began releasing stocks from its reserves to cool rates amid high festive season demand

HT Image
Updated on Oct 31, 2023 07:56 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Climate crisis spurs olive oil price surge

Droughts, heatwaves and wildfires linked to climate change in key producer countries have nearly halved the world’s harvests of olives for second straight year.

An August production estimate by the Spanish government proved the worst fears: a crisis in olive oil markets.(AFP)
Updated on Oct 30, 2023 06:58 AM IST

Climate crisis goes for olive oil, prices surge

In a forecast in May, global price-setter Spain, the source of half the world’s olive oil supply, said production is expected to fall nearly 48% over last year

Global benchmark retail prices rose to a record high of $9,000 per tonne in October (Representative Photo)
Updated on Oct 29, 2023 03:35 PM IST

Centre curbs onion export as prices double

A minimum export price (MEP) of $800 per tonne on a freight-on-board basis will be applicable on onion effective October 29 and remain in force until December 31

Retail rates of onion have nearly doubled in a week in several cities, with the vegetable selling between <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>50-60 a kg in Delhi, up from <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>25-30 a kg (Representative Image)
Published on Oct 28, 2023 09:42 PM IST

India’s summer-sown rice output expected to be 106.3 million tonnes in 2023-24

India is also estimated to produce 21.5 million tonnes of oilseeds, 434.8 million tonnes of sugarcane, 31.7 million bales of cotton (of 170 kg each) and 22.5 million tonnes of maize for the year 2023-24

Total summer foodgrains output is expected at 148.6 million tonnes (Representative Photo)
Updated on Oct 28, 2023 10:30 AM IST

Centre to launch software to detect dark patterns used by firms on web

Consumer affairs ministry collaborates with IIT-Benaras Hindu University for open-source software

Union government to launch a software to detect dark patterns on the internet, says consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh. (HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 27, 2023 04:47 AM IST

Late refunds to paid seats: Airlines summoned over spike in complaints

According to data, around 10,000 complaints were made against airlines for a variety of reasons, including no refunds after travel bookings cancellation

All major airlines summoned by the consumer affairs ministry over a spike in complaints registered by consumers. (PTI)
Updated on Oct 27, 2023 05:36 AM IST

Govt clears 22,300cr rabi fertiliser subsidy

Cabinet approves ₹22,303 crore subsidy for fertilisers to keep prices steady during winter-sown season

Union Minister Anurag Thakur addresses the media during cabinet briefing, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023.(PTI)
Updated on Oct 26, 2023 01:31 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Union cabinet approves 22,300 crore rabi fertiliser subsidy: Anurag Thakur

The Union budget in February this year allocated ₹1.75 lakh crore for fertiliser subsidies for 2023-24

Mathura: Workers unload sacks of fertilizer at PCF Krishak Seva Kendra, in Mathura on October 18 (PTI)
Published on Oct 25, 2023 04:51 PM IST

Government decides to cut export floor price for basmati rice

The government, which imposed a floor price of $1200 a tonne for overseas shipments in August to cool domestic prices, has approved a decision to reduce it to $950 a tonne in a meeting on Monday

India is a leading exporter of the premium aromatic grain, shipping over 4 million tonne a year. (AFP file photo)
Published on Oct 24, 2023 03:14 PM IST

Govt overestimated annual wheat output for FY23: Data

The fourth & final round of estimates of crop output for 2022-23, released by the agriculture ministry, showed foodgrain production was at a record high.

Getting production estimates right is critical for food management, fixing export targets and keeping prices affordable in a country of 1.4 billion people, 800 million of who depend on food hand outs. (REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 22, 2023 10:45 PM IST

Inflation likely to stay stable during festive season, curbs to remain: Food secretary

Food inflation is likely to remain stable during the ongoing festive season and the government will not relax a series of curbs on food commodities, Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra said

The central government is actively reviewing the minimum export price for basmati, says Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra. (HT Archive)
Updated on Oct 20, 2023 07:48 AM IST

Foodgrain output at record high: Centre

Rice output during 2022-23 was estimated to be a record 135.7 million tonnes, up 4.6% from the previous year’s 129 million tonne.

Wheat production during the year stood at 110.5 million tonnes, higher by 4.7% than last year’s output of 105.7 million tonne, according to data from the farm ministry.(HT File)
Updated on Oct 19, 2023 07:30 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Cabinet hikes MSPs of six rabi crops

Among the six crops, lentil (masur) prices were raised the most by ₹425 to ₹6,425 a quintal from ₹6,000 a quintal in the previous season in keeping with the government’s goal of reducing the dependence on imports for pulses

The Union Cabinet approves hikes in MSPs for six main rabi crops. (AFP)
Updated on Oct 19, 2023 05:14 AM IST

India extends curbs on sugar export

The restrictions on shipments abroad are aimed at boosting domestic availability during 2023-24 and keeping prices stable during the ongoing festive season, when demand typically soars

The world’s second-largest producer had already restricted exports of the sweetener until October 31, 2023. (HT file photo)
Published on Oct 18, 2023 03:32 PM IST
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