Monday, December 21, 2015

Pakistani Taliban dubs ISIS

Pakistani Taliban has dubbed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) “un-Islamic” for its methods and strongly criticized leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As IS attempts to widen its influence beyond Syria and Iraq, it seems to be making a few ‘frenemies’.
The Taliban’s Pakistani branch, or Tehreek-e-Taliban, is the latest militant group angered by IS’s pretentions to a caliphate. It believes al-Baghdadi is no caliph and definitely not the leader of the world’s Muslims, rating him as merely a local gang boss.
These beliefs, according to Reuters, were outlined in a scathing letter on Saturday and follow similar sentiments expressed by other militant groups – that al-Baghdadi is no real caliph, because he doesn’t command the world’s Muslims, rather only people in a particular territory.Pakistani Taliban doesn’t want to set up its own Sharia state by toppling the government in Islamabad. However, those ambitions are local. IS, they fear, has little to do with South Asia anymore. The two Taliban groups (the other in Afghanistan) share the view that only centralized leadership will work in their share of the region – a view expressed earlier in the Afghan Taliban’s own letter to al-Baghdadi’s group.
The cruelty of IS gets special mention in the current address by the Pakistani branch. Again, similar statements were made to ones expressed by the Afghan denomination, that killing mujahideen of the Taliban indiscriminately and barbarically disqualifies IS from being real Muslims.
The message went on to state that al-Baghdadi’s selection as leader was not in accordance with Islamic rules.RT News

International News

  • RT News
On a PIL filed by the Association of Democratic Rights, the Delhi high court had in May 2014 directed the government and Election Commission to take action against the BJP and Congress. The two parties moved the Supreme Court, which has issued notices to the Centre and the EC.
Read more at:
The latest changes being suggested by the home ministry include allowing foreign contributions from companies in sectors where FDI is allowed.

Car Crash onto sidewalks in Las Vegas

View image on Twitter
NBC reporter Gerard Ramalho cited police sources as saying that a vehicle had driven up onto a sidewalk and into a large group of people.An accident occurred on the sidewalks of Las Vegas Boulevard in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino and Planet Hollywood in which 30 people were run over in Las Vegas when a woman drove her car into a crowd opposite the luxurious Paris Hotel. Police say at least one person has died and four are in critical condition. The driver has been detained and the motive is being probed.Deputy Chief Zimmerman: This was not an act of terrorism. Initial investigation appears this was intentional.Metro Police spokesperson has confirmed that one person was killed and 37 people were injured, including four critically.
Police said the street has been closed to traffic in both directions between Flamingo and Harmon Roads.
At least seven people are in critical condition, said Peter Boffelli, of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
“This is a huge tragedy that occurred on our strip,” Boffelli said.RT news

Shri B.L.Chawala father of Late Kalpana Chawala

Good Morning friends.
I Thank God for giving me a chance to meet SH. B.L.Chawala ji father of Late Kalpana Chawala.
It was a just chance while I was on my morning walk in the Atal Park today.
I wished him for his best of health and long life he is 83 as of now.
Here you are viewing his pic.which I just clicked here.
You too all wish him for his best of health and long life.
Mahesh Sagar's photo.
Naresh Kumar Sagar
Naresh Kumar Sagar Great to have met kalpna father
Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs
Mahesh Sagar
Mahesh Sagar Thank you dear Hare Krsna
Like · Reply · 3 hrs
Mahesh Sagar
Mahesh Sagar Yes dear Naresh Kumar Sagar it was a rare chance here.
Like · Reply · 3 hrs
Hare Krsna
Hare Krsna Hare Krishna Dada. You dont look 83! Gosh.. You looking smart and dignified just like my Dada Ranchhodbhai Motibhai Patel was at same age. Krishna keep you healthy and happy in your golden years. Think of Krishna always… smile emoticon
Like · Reply · 3 hrs · Edited
Naresh Kumar Sagar
Naresh Kumar Sagar To bring Snapshot of father of Kalpna indeed noble deed
Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs
Naresh Kumar Sagar
Naresh Kumar Sagar Stay blessed sacred ones
Like · Reply · 3 hrs
Vippan Bhambri
Vippan Bhambri GOOD DAY SIR
Like · Reply · 3 hrs
Ajit Mishra
Ajit Mishra good morning brother.
kan band karne wali topi lagaiye
thand kam lagegi bhaiya.
See Translation
Like · Reply · 2 hrs
Dev Bhatt
Dev Bhatt Sir namaskaar Aap bht lucky hai sir hum bhi duaa krte hai ki unki helth achhi rahe. Thanks.See Translation
Like · Reply · 1 min
Al Jazeera English's photo.
Al Jazeera English
2 hrs ·
In Pictures: The Badjao, a sea-dwelling tribe often known as the “Sea Nomads”, have been floating off the shores of Southeast Asia for centuries.
Naresh Kumar Sagar
Write a comment…
Mahesh Sagar's photo.
Mahesh Sagar
3 hrs ·
Good Morning friends.
I Thank God for giving me a chance to meet SH. B.L.Chawala ji father of Late Kalpana Chawala.
It was a just chance while I was on my morn
Shikha Sagar Bahl and Mahesh Sagar like this.
Naresh Kumar Sagar
Naresh Kumar Sagar Great to have snapshot of kalpna father indeed noble deed
Naresh Kumar Sagar shared a link.
Swedish defence major Saab has offered to manufacture its fifth generation Gripen fighter aircraft in India coupled with technology transfer in a renewed bid for a pie in the multi-billion dollar IAF modernisation plan.
“The way we capture the air now is a bit of a trade secret,” says a co-found of Vitality Air, who goes down to Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta to fill giant cans with air…
BSP gear up 2017 UP
UP Mission 2017 – BSP supremo Mayawati planned to return back in UP again. BSP focused on his own vote bank.
BJP MP Kirti Azad on Sunday allged that Delhi District Cricket Association had given crores of money to bogus companies for work which was never specified.
All India Radio News's photo.
All India Radio News
16 hrs ·
• वित्‍तमंत्री अरूण जेटली, कल दिल्‍ली के मुख्‍यमंत्री अरविंद केजरीवाल के खिलाफ अवमानना का मामला दायर करेंगे। श्री जेटली ने समाचार एजेंसी – पी टी आई को बताया कि 

ans image001 new.jpg
The Tribune
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
1,809 bags of wheat missing from godown
The police booked a field inspector (store) of Haryana State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation Limited (HAFED) after 1,809 bags of wheat worth Rs 16.8 lakh were found missing from a godown of the federation. The case was registered on the complaint of Dr Madan Lal, district manager (DM) of HAFED, against Amrik Singh under Sections 420, 409, 379 and 120B of the IPC. The HAFED authorities have already suspended then DM Vikas Sangwan, centre in-charge Shyam Lal and field inspector (store) Amrik Singh besides chargesheeting them. Sources said the issue of short stock had come to light in September when the Food Corporation of India authorities didn’t get wheat supply from the said godown. They informed the senior officers and the higher authorities of HAFED. After getting information, a team of senior officials of HAFED from Panchkula had inspected the godown immediately and found 1,809 bags (904 quintals) missing from of the stock of 2,500 bags in physical verification. Dr Lal said physical verification of the other godowns of the federation was carried out in the district and the stock was found in order in the said godowns.
Millennium Post
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
National portal to cover 250 mandis by 2016
To ensure free flow of agricultural produce from one market to another and save farmers from multiple levies in mandis, the Centre has drawn a time-bound programme for developing a National Agriculture Market. “The national e-platform developed for the propose will cover 250 mandis by September 2016 and by March 2018, 585 mandis will have the system so that farmers can access their produce across markets,” said Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh, while briefing about the Centre’s initiatives to members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee. Stressing on providing agricultural commodities to consumers at reasonable prices, Singh said: “The Centre is actively working to usher in reforms of the agri marketing system in the interest of both farmers and consumers.” He added: “The Centre has urged all state governments to introduce e-market platform to unify mandis in their respective states so that farmers are free to sell their produce anywhere. The agriculture department will provide free software and help in its customisation to the states.” “The National Agriculture Market (NAM) will offer participants common marketplaces and real time prices at national level. It will create an efficient trading system for agri produce, which will enable transaction between buyers and sellers from their existing location, thus expanding the existing market and facilitating transaction in places where markets do not physically exist,” he said.
The Financial Express
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
April-Oct tea exports rise 7.25%
India’s tea exports registered a 7.25% year-on-year rise quantitatively during April-October this year, to 119.25 million kg, as against 111.19 million kg during the same period a year ago. According to the provisional production data released by Tea Board of India, output during April-October stood at 946.97 million kgs, a marginal decline of 0.69% y-o-y. During the period under review, North India production increased marginally by 0.60 million kg while South India’s output decreased by 7.22 million kg. The provisional tea exports data shows the country’s tea exports registered a 4.2% increase at Rs 2318.07 crore in terms of value during April-October this year, as compared with the corresponding period last year. According to Tea Board data, the increase of tea exports has been seen in major tea-importing countries like Russia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the UAE, Iran, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Business Line
Mangalore, 18 December 2015
Areca co-operatives seek further curbs on imports
The arecanut co-operatives feel that the import of the commodity is taking place unabated, inspite of various controlling measures by the Centre. Some of the cooperative leaders, along with the Members of Parliament from Karnataka, met the Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, in New Delhi recently to explain this issue. In a letter submitted to the minister, the heads of various arecanut co-operatives from Karnataka said that around 30,000 tonnes of arecanut landed in the country legally during April to November 2015. Traders take recourse in SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA) for importing legally into the country. According to this, arecanut from Indonesia is exported to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Here, value-addition is made to the tune of 30 per cent by the importing country, which is having customs duty benefit if the commodity is exported to India. The co-operative leaders said that the import by such means causes a huge revenue loss to the country’s exchequer. Stating that India is self-sufficient in arecanut production, they said the commodity should be excluded from the Customs Tariff Notification of 1995 governing SAPTA. They also suggested that arecanut be placed in the negative list of commodities while renewing Indo-Sri Lankan Free Trade Agreement. There is surplus availability of arecanut due to the import. This is creating fluctuation in the market, they said. Representatives from Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campo) Ltd, Mangaluru; TSS (Totagars’ Cooperative Sale Society) of Sirsi; and Malnad Areca Marketing Cooperative Society (Mamcos) Ltd met the minister. It may be mentioned here that the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade had increased the minimum import price for arecanut from ₹110 a kg to ₹162 through a notification in June this year.
The Economic Times
Kochi, 18 December 2015
Coffee Board’s Arabica Nos Too Stretched, say Planters
Coffee planters have said that the coffee crop this year is likely to fall short of the Coffee Board’s post-monsoon estimate as rains in the last two months of the year have caused heavy damage to the arabica variety, which accounts for nearly a third of total output. In its post monsoon fore cast, the board has pegged total coffee out put at 350,000 tonnes, with arabica yield at 107,800 tonnes and robusta output at 242,200 tonnes. The assessment was completed in October and does not take into consideration loss due to rains after this period. The board, however, said that rains in November and December could alter the data, which will reflect in the final estimate for the year. The arabica plants in the lower elevations are more susceptible to damage than those in the higher elevations as they ripen earlier, he said.
The Tribune
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
Despite opposition, govt re-notifies 11% entry tax on sugar
Amid stiff opposition, the state government has re-notified the Punjab Development of Trade, Commerce and Industries (Validation) Ordinance, 2015. Now, the local area development tax will again be levied on sugar arriving in the state from other parts of the country. Earlier, the state government issued this ordinance in May. It’s validity of six months ended a couple of weeks back. The re-notification of this ordinance will again enable the government to continue to levy 11 per cent entry tax on sugar imposed after the implementation of the last ordinance. The sugar consumption of the state is pegged at 70 to 75 lakh quintals per annum, out of which, about 50 lakh quintals is produced within the state, while the rest comes from Uttar Pradesh and other states. As per the copy of the notification, “every trader registered under the Punjab Value Added Tax Act, 2005, will be deemed to be registered under this ordinance. The logistics partner or the carrier of goods, who brings or causes to be brought or causes the entry of goods into any local area for any person, not registered under the Punjab Value Added Tax Act, 2005, for the value more than Rs 5 lakh will be liable for registration under this ordinance”.
The notification further states that the tax on sugar has been levied to garner money exclusively for developing industrial estates, focal points and industrial clusters being developed by the state government, providing financial aid, grants, incentives and subsidies to financial, industrial and commercial units. Last time, when the government issued this ordinance, it claimed the objective of entry tax on sugar was to bring down the losses in sugar production and bail out the sugar industry. However, hundreds of farmers are still waiting for their payment related to the sale of sugarcane to industries. The nine cooperative sugar mills in the state had incurred losses of Rs 300 crore in the last sugarcane crushing season. The total losses accumulated over the past five years have been estimated at Rs 1,000 crore.
Business Standard
Mumbai, 18 December 2015
Ethanol production from paddy soon
Avantha Group, promoted by $ 4- billion Gautam Thapar group, has entered into a partnership with Finland- based Chempolis Ltd to produce ethanol from paddy plants and banana stems. The pact was signed by Avantha Group’s research wing Avantha Centre for Industrial Research & Development ( ACRID). ACRID will seek investments to set up plants in major biomass growing states. It is in talks with the Punjab government for converting paddy plants into ethanol along with other byproducts. “We are in talks with the government of Punjab exploring possibilities of converting paddy plants into ethanol which has around 31- 32 per cent of recovery along with its byproducts. While ethanol recovery from paddy plants along stands at 24.5 per cent, others include byproducts,” said Rajeev Vederah, chairman, ACRID.
The Tribune
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
Farmers waiting for relief, not panchayat poll
The three-phase schedule for panchayat polls on January 10, 17 and 24 may have been welcomed by poll aspirants but the farmers see this duration as a period where they would remain devoid of compensation for whitefly and drought. Narender Kumar of Allaudinpur village of district, who crop suffered due to 70 per cent drought said, “It has been long time since the special girdawari was carried out. The government was about to distribute the relief amount but it has been stopped following announcement of polls. It will now be delayed by a month,” he added. Mewa Singh Arya, another farmer from this village, said that the sowing season of wheat, mustard and gram crop is in its last stage and farmers urgently need money to buy seeds and fertilizers. “After waiting for compensation, I was forced to seek a loan of Rs 50,000 from a money-lender on high interest to sow my crop.” Expressing his concern over the scenario, Parveen Dharania from another village said, “Who has time for elections during the sowing season. All the farmers are busy in fields.” Anil Sheoran, who is contesting for the post of sarpanch from Dohka Deena village, said that after the announcement of the schedule, candidates have started approaching voters in their fields. Officials of the district agriculture department said that nearly 1.80 lakh hectares of land got affected in the district due to whitefly and drought.
The Hindu
Idukki, 18 December 2015
Few takers for oranges in Kerala
The recent deluge in Tamil Nadu has resulted in a decline in the prices of orange which otherwise is in good demand in the State during the season. That, coupled with a high yield of the Nagpur varieties of the fruit, has resulted in the traders here selling the fruit at prices below Rs. 20 a kg. Small junctions in the main towns in the high range areas bordering Tamil Nadu are dotted with vehicles exclusively selling oranges at Rs. 100 for four kilograms. Sellers say that even at this price there isn’t much demand for the fruit as the high range area is still witnessing rainfall and the day temperature is at a low. Usually, the winter season has good demand for orange juice in eateries and cool bars with the day temperatures remaining at a high, says Remesan T., who runs a bakery-cum-cool bar at Kattappana. As usual, large quantities of Nagpur oranges which have only a short shelf life arrived for the Tamil Nadu market. However, with virtually no demand in the wake of heavy rainfall there, large quantities were diverted to the border district to sell at a low price. Wholesale dealers say that they get oranges from Nagpur at prices as low as Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 a kg. They say that expecting a further fall in the prices, farmers sell even the near-ripe ones resulting in a flood of oranges in the market. Those at the receiving end are the fruit farmers of Kanthallur in the district, where the harvesting season of orange is slowly coming to an end. Chandrasekharan, a farmer at Guhanathapuram, told that Tamil Nadu was their main market.
Business Standard
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
Govt policy soon on 100% biofuel vehicles to boost ethanol consumption: Gadkari
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the Centre would announce a policy to allow manufacturing of flexible fuel vehicles next month, which would help in cutting down pollution and also increase ethanol consumption. Addressing the 81st annual general meeting of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), Gadkari said the over 350-odd sugar mills in the country, which do not have an ethanol manufacturing facility, should quickly shift to the same, as the sugar industry would not survive in the next few years unless it used a major part of the sugarcane juice for making ethanol and not sugar. “With Brazil continuing to make surplus sugar, there is very little chance of any sharp uptick in global sugar prices in the near future,” Gadkari said. The minister said he has asked Germany’s biggest car maker, Volkswagen, to make flexi-fuel vehicles for India. “Efforts should be made to cut sugar production and concentrate wholly on ethanol production,” said the minister. He regretted that the petroleum industry is not very keen to promote bio-fuels in the interest of the farmers. ISMA director-general Abinash Verma said, “This is the future… The ethanol producing industry will react once there is demand.” Verma added: “It is not a problem for automakers to make flexi-fuel cars for India. But there has to be a policy, demand and infrastructure to supply 100 per cent ethanol for blending with petrol.” Last year, the country achieved 2.5 per cent ethanol blending with petrol.
Business Line
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
Govt rice buys up 31%
Rice procurement in the current marketing season started October 1 is up 31.5 per cent on year so far, and central government agencies have now started buying the grain from one of the largest producers Bihar, according to data released by the government. The Centre has procured a total of 16.03 million tonnes (mt) rice so far in 2015-16 – up from 12.19 mt a year ago, the data showed. Procurement of rice in Bihar was at 405 tonnes so far, against 499 tonnes in the same period last year. In the season so far, rice procurement is higher primarily due to bigger purchases in major producing States of Punjab, Haryana and Chhattisgarh. The government has bought about 9.35 mt rice from Punjab, up from7.78 mt a year ago, while in Haryana, purchases of rice were up at 2.85mt (2.01 mt). The Centre aims to procure 30.27 mt of rice in the current season.
Business Line
Ahmedabad, 18 December 2015
Gujarat announces bonus for cotton growers
The Gujarat government announced Rs 110 per 20 kg bonus for the cotton growers in the State. As per the announcement, cotton farmers will get additional Rs 110 per 20 kg on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 810 per 20 kg when sold to government procurement agency, Cotton Corporation of India at its depots. Farmers selling cotton at the CCI depots will be entitled to get this bonus, which puts the price at Rs 920 per 20 kg or Rs 4,600 per quintal of raw cotton. Farmers in Gujarat faced heavy losses as market price of cotton fell sharply due to China cutting down on its purchases from India.
After frequent representations by farmer bodies like Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) and farmer leaders, the state government formed a committee of ministers under the leadership of chief minister Anandiben Patel. The committee included senior ministers Nitin Patel, state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, state finance minister Saurabh Patel and state agriculture minister Babubhai Bokhiriya. “It is expected that cotton growing area in the state is likely to be around 2.76 million hectares this year with an estimated cotton output of around 8.5 to 9 million bales (each of 170 kg). In view of this and also for providing good market price for cotton growers, the state government has decided to give Rs 110 bonus to the farmers from the State budget,” said the spokesperson minister Nitin Patel. The benefit will be applicable from December 18, 2015 for all procurement made under CCI. “With this bonus, the prices would be maintained its desired levels in the state and will benefit the cotton growing farmers in the state,” the minister said here. However, the opposition Congress termed the bonus to be insignificant and mockery of the troubled cotton farmers of the state.
The Hindu
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
India opposes rich nations’ bid to cherry pick farm issues
India, at the ongoing WTO’s Nairobi meet, called for a balanced outcome in negotiations on agriculture including an agreement on Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM). SSM is a trade remedy that will allow developing countries to temporarily increase duties to address import surges and price dips due to heavily subsidised imports of agricultural products from developed countries. SSM is meant to protect the interests of resource-poor and subsistence farmers in the developing nations. India opposed efforts by the developed world to cherry pick issues from within the ‘Export Competition’ pillar that concerns farm export subsidies reforms, which is either reduction or elimination of such subsidies. India had earlier called for a drastic reduction of farm subsidies in the rich countries, India has also opposed efforts by the rich countries to link a deal on SSM to that on ‘export competition, as it is sticking to its position that SSM is not up for bargain during the negotiations.
An instrument similar to SSM was already available to a select few countries (especially the developed countries) for over two decades. Therefore, the demand for SSM was reasonable and pragmatic, Commerce Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said in a statement. There are attempts to dilute the ‘Export Competition’ provisions to suit a few members, she said. “At this late hour, new definitions and language are being proposed. It is not possible to react to these new concepts without extensive domestic consultations.” India expressed concern over new concepts on Export Competition’ being discussed by a limited group of members, adding “This severely impacts the transparency of the process.” Sitharaman met the WTO director general Roberto Azevedo and sought similar discussions to take forward the proposal on SSM, sources said. Ms. Sitharaman said a simplified proposal on SSM has already been submitted and asked the WTO Chair on Agriculture negotiations to speedily work on this. “We expect WTO members to engage constructively on the issue (of SSM) so that we can arrive at an outcome in Nairobi,” the minister said.
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
Maharashtra announces aid for farmers hit by drought
Maharashtra announced a Rs 10,512 crore relief package for the more than 15,000 drought-hit villages in 14 districts of the state’s Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the package in the assembly in Nagpur during a discussion on the drought situation. He rejected the opposition demand for a waiver in farm debt, stating that a previous one by the United Progressive Alliance benefited only the banks and was of no help to farmers with marginal land holdings. Of the Rs 10,512 crore, Rs 7,412 crore will be direct financial assistance to cotton and soybean farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada. The remaining will be released as grants for the various long-term measures for farmers. The state’s flagship programme Jalayukta Shivar that aims to conserve water by building small dams and farm ponds will get Rs 250 crore. It has so far covered 6,200 villages and another 5,000 villages have been identified. In the 6,200 villages covered so far, farmers have generated water capacity of 24 trillion cubic metres, Fadnavis said. He said the government had already provided assistance worth Rs10,582 crore to farmers in the past year. The scope of the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme has been expanded and it covers more than 8.2 million farmers of the total 10.3 million farmers in the state. Of the 8.2 million farmers, 4.2 million have been given insurance benefit worth ` 1,800 crore, he said. Under the food security scheme, more than 6 million tonnes of foodgrain have been provided to 10 million farmers, the chief minister added.
Business Line
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
Mustard falls on improved sowing
Mustard, the main rabi oilseed crop, is witnessing a steady fall after touching a record high in October. Prices have declined by more than 10.5 per cent due to late monsoon showers in mustard growing States, thereby increasing chances of normal sowing. Further, a decision by the Rajasthan government to impose stock limits on oilseeds also pressurised the prices. In the September-October period, prices had firmed up substantially on production concerns due to below-normal rains. According to the Fourth Advance Estimate, in 2014-15, mustard production was pegged at 63.1 lakh tonnes (lt), a drop of 20 per cent from 78.8 lt produced in 2013-14. Currently, favourable weather conditions in the main mustard growing States have encouraged farmers to speed up sowing in the last one month.
Even though prices are at record highs, the sowing has been delayed by more than a fortnight due to high temperature and lack of soil moisture. Sowing progress was almost 50 per cent less in mid-November than the area sown last year but it has now picked up. As on December 4, planting had taken place on 54.17 lakh hectares (lh), down only 11 per cent from the same time last year (60.91 lh). Rajasthan, the top producer, recorded 23.61 lh compared to 25.76 lh last year till December 10, according to the State Agriculture Department. Similarly, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have sown 1.34 lh and 0.73 lh less in the current year from last year.
Daily Excelsior
Jammu, 18 December 2015
PNB organizes Mega Agriculture Credit Camp
Punjab National Bank (PNB), Branch Aghore and Akhnoor organized a Mega Agriculture Credit Camp during the special agriculture credit campaign. The camp was attended by large number of farmers from Aghore and Akhnoor and officials of the Agriculture Department, where various ongoing schemes of the bank for providing cheaper credit under agriculture scheme were explained to the participants. On the occasion, the chief guest was Bikram Singh Raina, DGM of PNB, who while speaking explained the various credit schemes for the welfare of the farming community. He urged the farmers to avail the benefit of these schemes which provide finance at cheaper rates to the farming community and urged them about the need for timely repayment to reap the benefit of cheaper finance being provided by the bank.
Deccan Herald
New Delhi, 18 December 2015
SC notice to Centre, eight states over food grain
The Supreme Court asked the Centre and eight states to respond to a plea for providing free foodgrain guaranteed under National Food Security Act to all drought-affected people. A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and S A Bobde issued notice to Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Jharkhand governments.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Swaraj Abhiyan, a political movement started by former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, seeking directions for adequate and timely compensation for crop loss and input subsidy for the next crop to the farmers affected by drought and subsidised cattle fodder for animals. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Swaraj Abhiyan, said National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, placed obligation on the state to provide 5 kg of foodgrain to each person in the family per month. “Unfortunately, most states have not yet implemented this. Except Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, the states have stuck to the previous Public Distribution System schemes that fall short of the NFSA obligations,” he said.
The Tribune
Chandigarh, 18 December 2015
State govt apathy turns pulses into luxury for rural poor
Soaring prices of pulses may be an issue in metros and towns. However, deep in the dark houses of poor in rural areas of the state, the issue is not of price, but the non-availability of pulses. Although, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 80 gram of pulses should be consumed by an individual everyday, the variety is gradually vanishing from the menus of lakhs of poor in Punjab – the food basket of India. Reason: the state government, backtracking from its poll promise, is not distributing subsidised pulses to over 28 lakh Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, most of whom are Dalits, for the past over 16 months. Much touted Atta-Dal scheme is devoid of ‘dal’ since September 2014. In such a scenario, when pulses are being sold for Rs 80-100 per kg in retail market, poor villagers are either preferring to avoid pulses in their meal menus or purchasing it in a manner as if the item is a luxurious delicacy. In 2013, the state promised to give wheat at Re 1 per kg per month (5 kg per month/ person) and pulses for Rs 20 per kg per month (one kg/month). The government was procuring pulses at Rs 40 per kg. In October last year, the prices were reportedly raised to Rs 2 and Rs 30 per kg, respectively. State procurement agency Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation (PUNSUP) was given responsibility to purchase pulses for the scheme. By August 2014, the outstanding balance of PUNSUP towards government rose to Rs 1,700 crore. The government didn’t clear PUNSUP’s pulses bills. PUNSUP subsequently stopped supplying pulses to poor. However, the blockade has put the rural poor at the receiving end.
Business Line
Kolkata, 18 December 2015
Tea exports up 4% in value; dip in S India production drags overall output
Tea exports have seen an over four per cent increase (in value terms) during the seven month period from April to October this year to over ₹2,318 crore. The corresponding figure for the same period last year stood at ₹2,225 crore (approximate). According to provisional data released by the Tea Board of India, exports in quantity terms increased by 7.25 per cent to 119.25 million kg (mkg) during these seven months against 111.19 mkg in the year-ago-period. Increase in exports has been seen in major tea importing countries such as Russia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, UAE, Iran, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The period also saw a minor dip in production (of less than one per cent) to 946.49 mkg. Production in the April to October period of 2014-15 stood at 953.59 mkg. The fall in production was mainly reported in South India. Production there dipped to 148.58 mkg (155.8 mkg). North India, however, saw a 0.08 per cent increase in production to 798.39 mkg (797.79 mkg).

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...