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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

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

India’s April-June GDP grows by 7.8%, highest in four quarters

The GDP expansion came of the back of a sequential pickup in the pace of growth of economic activity in financial services, which grew 12.2%.

 (Representative Photo)
Updated on Aug 31, 2023 06:46 PM IST

Has India gone too far in curbing food exports?

The primary economic factor of high food inflation necessitated the government’s anti-inflation measures, mostly in the form of export curbs

From halting exports to imposing export duties on grains and lentils, the Union government has deployed a range of steps to cool food prices (HT File)
Updated on Aug 30, 2023 05:29 PM IST

Centre imposes price curbs on basmati rice export

The move is likely to slow down the export of one of India’s most sought-after, high-value export items.

The government has now deployed a full gamut of export restrictions on cereals on the back of high food inflation. (Vipin Kumar/HT photo)
Updated on Aug 28, 2023 01:15 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Centre imposes conditional curbs on basmati rice export

The Centre on Sunday imposed conditional curbs on basmati rice export too, according to a notification.

The new measure temporarily halts all basmati rice exports contracted at a price lower than $1200 a ton
Updated on Aug 27, 2023 01:15 PM IST

Appliances may be graded for water efficiency on lines of star ratings for power consumption

A panel in India has recommended the creation of a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency to encourage environmentally friendly choices by consumers. The bureau would collect data and conduct water audits to develop star ratings for water-use efficiency, similar to energy efficiency ratings. The bureau would also develop standards for household fixtures and appliances and devise building and plumbing codes for water and sewer lines. The aim is to address the country's severe water crisis and increase water efficiency by 20% in all sectors.

HT Image
Updated on Aug 26, 2023 11:30 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Centre imposes 20% export duty on parboiled rice

The tariff by India will make parboiled rice expensive for foreign buyers, thereby limiting its overseas sales and boosting domestic availability

 (Representative Photo)
Updated on Aug 26, 2023 09:38 AM IST

Gati Shakti: Kandla port in Gujarat to get mega container terminal

The container terminal is part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline and will complement the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan as well as the National Logistics Policy

Kandla port (HT file photo)
Updated on Aug 25, 2023 07:21 PM IST

Amid farmer protests, Centre launches drive to procure onions

HT had reported last week that onions could see an inflationary spell due to lower supplies

The announcement by food, consumer affairs and commerce minister Piyush Goyal came after traders and farmers in Maharashtra protested restrictions on the overseas sales of onion, which they said would hurt incomes. The curbs came amid signs of lower supplies of the widely consumed vegetable and a rise in prices. (PTI)
Updated on Aug 23, 2023 01:21 AM IST

Govt defends onion export duty, will buy bulb from farmers at record price

Consumers are facing one of the highest inflation rates in recent months. Retail prices accelerated to a 15-month high of 7.44% in July while vegetables rose an unprecedented 37%

Farmers protested after the Centre increased export duty on the widely used vegetable by 40%. (Praful Gangurde / HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 22, 2023 07:57 PM IST

Delhi first to get cheap govt onions at 25 per kg

On August 19, the government also levied a 40% duty on exports of onions, a move aimed at boosting local supply

Farmers are reporting damage to stored onions because of heavy rain over the past month, which has put pressure on supplies. (HT Archive)
Updated on Aug 22, 2023 04:50 AM IST

India imposes 40% tariff on onion export till Dec 31

A senior government official said that the decision has been taken to increase the availability of onions in the domestic market especially in view of the upcoming festival season

The government has been battling high retail inflation and vegetable prices in the country rose by a whopping 37.34% in July. (PTI)
Updated on Aug 19, 2023 08:48 PM IST

Explainer: Inflation is back and it is complicating matters

Adverse weather, including delayed monsoons and heavy rainfall, has led to higher vegetable prices may lead to further rate hikes and slow down economic growth

The July spike has been fuelled by food and vegetable prices(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
Published on Aug 18, 2023 02:33 PM IST

Centre plans stringent steps to rein in sticky food inflation

Inflation of such magnitude is bad news politically and economically, especially a year before the national election

Vegetables on sale at Azadpur Mandi, in New Delhi, amid soaring prices. (PTI)
Updated on Aug 18, 2023 11:28 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Piped water now in 2/3 rural households in India: Government data

The mission’s upcoming focus will be on speeding up “laying of water infrastructure in some states which are lagging”, aspirational districts

The scheme aims to connect each of India’s 194.2 million rural households with tap water connections by the end of 2024. (For Representation)
Updated on Aug 18, 2023 01:43 AM IST
By, New Delhi

India imports tomato from Nepal, prices ease

Tomatoes are now retailing at an average price of ₹100, down from a peak of ₹250 a kg a month ago.

The retail price of tomatoes procured by NCCF and NAFED was initially fixed at Rs.90 per kg and, as wholesale prices began to ease, it was reduced to Rs.80 per kg from July 16. It was eased to Rs70 per kg from July 10. (PTI)
Updated on Aug 15, 2023 05:30 AM IST
By, New delhi

Pushed by food prices, retail inflation leaps to 7.4%, a 15-month high

Retail inflation: Prices of cereals and vegetables have continued to grow in double digits despite a raft of measures by the government to ease supplies

Retail inflation: Vegetable prices shot up 37.34% in July, driving the combined food price inflation rate to 11.51% in July. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 14, 2023 06:39 PM IST

2% rain deficit in country as El Nino drags monsoon

Rainfall during August is likely to be ‘below normal’ ranging between 90% and 94% of the long period average, the IMD had forecast on July 31.

The June-September rainy season is vital for the country’s agriculture, which has an 18% share in India’s GDP at current (inflation-unadjusted) prices.(HT_PRINT)
Updated on Aug 14, 2023 04:40 AM IST
ByJayashree Nandi, , New Delhi

Centre to release onion stocks to tame inflation

Onion supplies are tightening in some markets and the kitchen staple could soon see an inflationary spell because of a lean annual season when stocks dip

Unlike tomatoes or most green vegetables, the government maintains nearly 300,000 tonne of reserves in the case of onions. (HT File Photo)
Updated on Aug 11, 2023 04:05 PM IST

Centre enforces new rules for influencers endorsing products, therapies

The rules require clear disclaimers from celebrities and influencers when making health-related claims and impose fines for ‘false or misleading endorsements.’

Misleading advertisements, unsubstantiated claims and lack of transparency in health and wellness endorsements now attract penal provisions of the consumer protection law. Digital influencers are widely followed on social media platforms, such as Instagram. (File photo)
Updated on Aug 11, 2023 04:33 AM IST

RBI keeps key lending rate unchanged at 6.5% after two-day policy meeting

Central banks typically raise or decrease key lending rates largely based on how it thinks inflation will pan out in the future and not on price levels witnessed in the past

The repo rate refers to the rate at which commercial banks borrow money by selling their securities to RBI. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 10, 2023 10:51 AM IST

Tomato farmers step up vigil around fields amid theft scare

Consumers are fretting about costly tomatoes as prices rose 64.5% on a month-on-month basis in June (over May 2023), according to official data

Wholesale tomato markets in Kolar and Nashik have tightened security in warehouses and installed surveillance cameras (PTI)
Updated on Aug 10, 2023 12:17 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Govt to release 7.5 million tonnes of grains to cool prices

The government hopes the fresh allocations will send a strong signal to markets that the Centre’s main grain agency, FCI, has no dearth of grains

FCI chief Ashok Meena said the government has 8.7 million tonne of wheat and 20 million tonne of rice in its reserves (AP File)
Updated on Aug 09, 2023 09:43 PM IST

Faced with robbery, not all tomato growers are smiling their way to the bank

Consumers are fretting about high tomato prices, which rose 64.5% on a month-on-month basis in June (over May 2023), according to official data

Tomatoes, the priciest vegetable in India, have been targetted by thieves. (File photo)
Updated on Aug 09, 2023 07:26 PM IST

After tomato makes pockets bleed, onion inflation to bring tears next?

People in the onion trade say this year’s winter crop – which caters to 70% of the annual demand – wasn’t robust compared to the previous year.

The onion buffer is being maintained by the department of consumer affairs under a price stabilization fund, which aims at effective market intervention to cool prices when availability plunges. (HT File)
Updated on Aug 09, 2023 09:03 AM IST

Bhutan reaches out for rice amid export ban, India likely to offer it

Bhutan has requested India to allow rice export to the country after India banned overseas shipments of non-basmati rice, causing global rice prices to rise. Bhutan has made a diplomatic request for rice shipments of up to 90,000 tonnes. India's rice ban allows for exemptions for export under government-to-government deals and in cases of requests made by "friendly countries" with genuine food-security needs. India's share in global rice exports is nearly 40%.

In September last year, India also banned the export of broken rice, but it has allowed exports to some countries (PTI)
Updated on Aug 08, 2023 12:45 AM IST
By, New Delhi
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