Fears of food inflation and low power output likely from hydro power units
GN Bureau | June 4, 2015
The southwest monsoon, which would be below normal this season, is likely to set over Kerala in the next 24 hours and two crucial ministries have announced plans to face the impending drought.
The forecast of a deficient monsoon has raised fears of inflation rising and the agriculture and power minister have unveiled a roadmap to minimise hardships in the farm and power sectors and keep prices of food items in check.
The farm sector is experiencing a difficult phase and the deficient rainfall is bound to make it worse not just for the farmers but have effects on the manufacturing sector as agricultural sector provides a raw materials.
Total foodgrains production has declined to 251.12 million tonnes in the 2014-15 crop year (July-June) from a record production of 265.04 million tonnes in the previous year.
Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said, "in the agriculture sector, there would obviously be some losses if there are deficient rains. We have confidence and policies in place to ensure there is minimum damage to agriculture sector and the overall economy."
The minister said a new crop insurance policy will be brought in to protect farmers' incomes, while the government will take steps to improve domestic supplies through imports to check the price of pulses, which are already high.
Singh said the government is ready with contingency plans for 580 districts and is in touch with state governments and agriculture research institutions to tackle the situation.
On the other side of the spectrum, Power minister Piyush Goyal said that the contingency plans have been drawn up to meet any eventuality in case the deficient monsoon hits hydro power output.
"It's a matter of concern that the monsoon is expected to be below normal. We are conscious that this will result in a fall in hydropower production and the demand will also increase... The ministry of power and the ministry of coal are seized of the situation," Goyal said.
The minister also said that adequate coal is available at every thermal plant in the country to meet any shortfall in hydro-power output.
The met department has revised its rainfall forecast from 93 per cent to 88 per cent of normal for this year, with the north-west region of the country expected to be hit the most. Last year, the country had received 12 per cent less rains, which hit production of food grains, cotton and oilseeds.
Public sector undertakings (PSUs) can become more efficient only through discipline, said Anil Swarup, secretary, department of school education and literacy, ministry of human resource development. Speaking at the 2nd India PSU IT Forum organised by Governance Now on Wednesdaty, Swarup laid
Tejas Express, a semi-high speed train, is supposed to run at 200 kmph. But, on its inaugural run between Mumbai to Karmali (Goa), it touched a maximum speed of 110 kmph. A few days before it was flagged off by railway minister Suresh Prabhu on May 22, Indian Railways claimed that the train
The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Jharkhand government and sought a report over 1,000 children being reportedly abducted and recruited by Maoists over the past few years. The commission cited a news article and said that it brings forth the sta
In 1998, as a 12-year-old, I was fascinated by the spectacle on display in the streets of Chandni Chowk, where I grew up, during the Chaudhvin Ka Chand festival, which recreated the Mugh
What restricts MOOCs’ acceptance despite having credits? It is just a matter of time. India has been used to the traditional way of education. However, the fact that India is the second biggest learner base for edX, after the United States, speaks volumes ab
Sameer Srivastava, a school topper from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, wanted to study in an IIT like any other engineering aspirant. But getting into an institution where only less than one percent of the applicants are selected was a big hurdle. Not cutting the IIT mark, Sameer decided to settle for an