Zia Haq

Zia Haq

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

Articles by Zia Haq
Farmers participate in a tractor rally to protest against the newly passed farm bills, on a highway on the outskirts of New Delhi (REUTERS)
Farmers participate in a tractor rally to protest against the newly passed farm bills, on a highway on the outskirts of New Delhi (REUTERS)

Stage set for mega tractor rally; Parliament march on Feb 1

By Zia Haq, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 01:01 AM IST
  • The police say about 30,000 tractors are likely to participate in the rally, but farm leaders said the number of vehicles will be closer to 200,000.
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The farm unions stressed that they would be going ahead with a tractor rally in Delhi on January 26, but said they would do it after India’s Republic Day celebrations and not disrupt the official function.(PTI)
The farm unions stressed that they would be going ahead with a tractor rally in Delhi on January 26, but said they would do it after India’s Republic Day celebrations and not disrupt the official function.(PTI)

Talks break down, govt tells unions it won’t accept demand to repeal laws

By Zia Haq
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 05:08 AM IST
The farmers, who have rigidly called for either a repeal of the laws or nothing, on Friday vowed to intensify their agitation — the biggest the Modi government has faced so far, and one that has seen tens of thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana camping on the Capital’s borders for 57 days.
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A statement put out by the unions said a full general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha was held on Thursday.(PTI Photo)
A statement put out by the unions said a full general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha was held on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

Farmer unions reject offer to put farm laws on hold

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:10 AM IST
In the 10th round of negotiations with a 41-member delegation representing farm unions on Wednesday, the Union government offered to suspend the three pieces of legislation in its most far-reaching proposal yet.
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On January 12, after two days of deliberation, the Supreme Court had suspended the farm laws. Judges dealing with the case also appointed a committee to look into farmers’ grievances over the laws.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
On January 12, after two days of deliberation, the Supreme Court had suspended the farm laws. Judges dealing with the case also appointed a committee to look into farmers’ grievances over the laws.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

Centre says can put farm laws on hold for 1.5 years

By Zia Haq
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 05:15 AM IST
In the 10th round of negotiations with a 41-member delegation representing protesting farm unions on Wednesday, the government said it will move an affidavit before the Supreme Court to put the laws in abeyance till a solution to the farmers’ demands is found.
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Culling operation underway after samples of chickens from a poultry at Rayta in Kalyan Taluka tested positive for bird flu in Maharashtra.
Culling operation underway after samples of chickens from a poultry at Rayta in Kalyan Taluka tested positive for bird flu in Maharashtra.

Bird flu spreads among poultry in 5 of 11 afflicted states despite culling

By Zia Haq
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 12:06 PM IST
Cases have been recurring in areas from where they were first reported and federal teams are assisting all states in coordinating containment measures
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Members of Supreme Court-constituted committee (L to R) Ashok Gulati, Anil Ghanwat and Pramod Kumar Joshi interact with the media in New Delhi on Tuesday. (HT photo)
Members of Supreme Court-constituted committee (L to R) Ashok Gulati, Anil Ghanwat and Pramod Kumar Joshi interact with the media in New Delhi on Tuesday. (HT photo)

SC panel on farm laws holds first meet, invites farmers for talks

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:43 AM IST
The committee will begin its consultations with farm unions on January 21. “Invitations have been sent to unions which are both pro- and anti-farm laws,” Anil Ghanwat, a member of the committee told HT.
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The farm unions are on a strike since November to demand the scrapping of three contentious farm laws(PTI)
The farm unions are on a strike since November to demand the scrapping of three contentious farm laws(PTI)

After row, key farm leader says will not meet political parties

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:51 AM IST
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of nearly 400 farm groups leading the stir, said that efforts by Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni to organise an “all-party meeting” on the farm laws were not authorised by it, and did not figure in its official agenda.
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File photo: Farmers raise slogans against the new farm laws at the Delhi-Ghazipur border in New Delhi.(ANI)
File photo: Farmers raise slogans against the new farm laws at the Delhi-Ghazipur border in New Delhi.(ANI)

SC panel on farm laws to begin work on January 19

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:30 PM IST
  • On January 12, after two days of deliberation, the Supreme Court had suspended the pro-reforms farm laws approved by Parliament in September.
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Supporters of farmers take part in a flag march along a blocked highway as farmers continue to protest against the central government's recent agricultural reforms at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border in Ghazipur on January 17. (AFP)
Supporters of farmers take part in a flag march along a blocked highway as farmers continue to protest against the central government's recent agricultural reforms at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border in Ghazipur on January 17. (AFP)

Farmers’ protest: Cracks in unions as key leader charts own agenda

By Zia Haq
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:12 PM IST
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha said efforts by Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni to organise an all-party meeting on the farm laws were not “authorised”
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The farm unions representing tens of thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have launched a mass agitation on the borders of the national capital.(PTI)
The farm unions representing tens of thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have launched a mass agitation on the borders of the national capital.(PTI)

Will hold peaceful R-Day parade in Delhi: farm unions

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 01:12 AM IST
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of farm unions spearheading the ongoing farmers’ agitation, said their tractor parade would cover a 60-km stretch and pass through New Delhi’s Outer Ring Road, covering areas such as Peeragarhi, Janakpuri and Munirka.
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Farmers from Ludhiana head for Delhi on Sunday to participate in a tractor march, (ANI)
Farmers from Ludhiana head for Delhi on Sunday to participate in a tractor march, (ANI)

Will hold peaceful Republic Day parade in Delhi, say farm unions

By Zia Haq
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 07:34 PM IST
  • The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of farm unions spearheading the farmers’ agitation, said farmers all over the country would also take out similar parades in state capitals and district headquarters.
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The farm unions had raised the issue of NIA summoning those who have supported agitation with three Union ministers during the talks.(PTI)
The farm unions had raised the issue of NIA summoning those who have supported agitation with three Union ministers during the talks.(PTI)

Govt using NIA to harass us with notices, farm unions say

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 04:39 PM IST
The NIA has summoned over two dozen people in a case related to an organisation called Sikhs for Justice.
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"We suggested that the farmers form a smaller group with outside people who have expertise on the issue, but the unions rejected our suggestion,” agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said
"We suggested that the farmers form a smaller group with outside people who have expertise on the issue, but the unions rejected our suggestion,” agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said

Ninth round of farm talks inconclusive

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 04:18 AM IST
Like several earlier rounds of discussions, the farm unions demanded that the government commit to complete rollback of the laws. At Friday’s talks, the government proposed that the 41-member farmers’ delegation form a “smaller group” with “people who have expertise on laws”.
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Farmers during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Ghazipur border in New Delhi on January 14. (ANI)
Farmers during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Ghazipur border in New Delhi on January 14. (ANI)

All eyes on 9th round of farm talks today: Here’s what you need to know

By Zia Haq
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 09:38 AM IST
The agenda of the farmers is to focus the discussions only on ways in which the new laws can be scrapped
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Mann, a former MP and the national president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, a farm union, said he was “recusing” himself from a committee of four set by the Supreme Court to look into farmers’ grievances over the laws.
Mann, a former MP and the national president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, a farm union, said he was “recusing” himself from a committee of four set by the Supreme Court to look into farmers’ grievances over the laws.

‘In interest of farmers’, member Mann opts out of SC committee

By Zia Haq
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 02:01 AM IST
BKU leader says ready to sacrifice any post so as not to compromise interests of farmers, protesting unions rigid on not participating in talks.
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Bhupinder Singh Mann. (File photo)
Bhupinder Singh Mann. (File photo)

Farm leader opts out of SC panel citing farmers’ interest

By Zia Haq
UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 03:43 PM IST
Bhupinder Singh Mann, a former MP and the national president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, a farm union, said he was “recusing” himself from the committee of four set by the Supreme Court to look into farmers’ grievances over the laws
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The protesting farmers on Tuesday said they didn’t want to be part of the committee because its views in favour of the laws were well-documented. (Representative Image)(PTI Photo)
The protesting farmers on Tuesday said they didn’t want to be part of the committee because its views in favour of the laws were well-documented. (Representative Image)(PTI Photo)

Panellists have been in favour of new laws

By Zia Haq
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 02:56 AM IST
All four members proposed for the committee — economists Ashok Gulati and PK Joshi as well as farm activists Anil Ghanwat and Bhupinder Singh Mann — have either publicly endorsed the laws or want them amended.That is a gripe among farm unions protesting the laws they say will hurt their livelihoods.
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The decision of protesting farm unions not to cooperate with the SC-proposed panel only deepens the stalemate. (Representative Image)(HT Photo)
The decision of protesting farm unions not to cooperate with the SC-proposed panel only deepens the stalemate. (Representative Image)(HT Photo)

Farm leaders refuse to appear before panel, stick to hard line

UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 02:28 AM IST
The top court named members to panel, all of who were “pro-reforms” and “pro-government”, all the more reason not to take part in its consultations, leaders of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform for the protesting farm unions, told reporters.
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Wholesale prices of chicken and eggs have crashed 80% and 60%, according to figures from the Poultry Federation of India. (Representative Image)(Sant Arora/HT)
Wholesale prices of chicken and eggs have crashed 80% and 60%, according to figures from the Poultry Federation of India. (Representative Image)(Sant Arora/HT)

Poultry sector predicts losses of over 1k-cr

By Zia Haq
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 01:01 AM IST
Even in states free from the avian flu so far, consumption of poultry has plunged, several stakeholders said.
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HT Image
HT Image

Poultry sector predicts losses of over 1k-cr

By Zia Haq
PUBLISHED ON JAN 11, 2021 11:55 PM IST
A surge in avian influenza or bird flu, an outbreak that has now spread to 10 states, has decimated over three dozen large farms, shut down hundreds of hatcheries and upended supply chains as more poultry farmers confront the pervasive fear of its rapid spread
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The Delhi government has decided to close the Ghazipur poultry market for 10 days owing to concerns over the spread of bird flu. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
The Delhi government has decided to close the Ghazipur poultry market for 10 days owing to concerns over the spread of bird flu. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

Amid surge in bird flu cases, scientists say risk of spread to humans low

By Zia Haq
PUBLISHED ON JAN 11, 2021 09:28 AM IST
Bird flu epidemics have been confirmed so far by the Bhopal-based NIHSAD in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh
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A farmer leader shows a paper with ‘We will either die or win’ written on it, at the eighth round of talks with the Centre on Friday.(ANI)
A farmer leader shows a paper with ‘We will either die or win’ written on it, at the eighth round of talks with the Centre on Friday.(ANI)

‘Cannot and will not repeal laws,’ says Centre as farm talks hit another stalemate

By Zia Haq | Edited by Sparshita Saxena | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 08:12 PM IST
The next round of talks is now slated to take place on January 15.
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The C2 formula of calculating cost of cultivation includes the imputed cost of capital and the rent on the land to give farmers 50% returns, rather than a narrower measure that takes into account the all paid-out costs incurred by a farmer and the value of family labour (A2+FL ).(PTI)
The C2 formula of calculating cost of cultivation includes the imputed cost of capital and the rent on the land to give farmers 50% returns, rather than a narrower measure that takes into account the all paid-out costs incurred by a farmer and the value of family labour (A2+FL ).(PTI)

Swaminathan says MSP better than loan waiver

By Zia Haq | Hindustan Times, New Delhi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 09, 2021 11:50 AM IST
The protesting farmers, apart from a repeal of the laws, have also demanded a law guaranteeing MSPs calculated using the C2 yardstick. The farmers will hold the next round of negotiations with the Centre on Friday.
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Several streams of flight paths of migratory birds crisscross the country’s skies. India is also a terminal destination for many such streams, making it a biological hot spot for bird disease, according to Sobhit Pal of the Bombay Natural History Society.(AFP)
Several streams of flight paths of migratory birds crisscross the country’s skies. India is also a terminal destination for many such streams, making it a biological hot spot for bird disease, according to Sobhit Pal of the Bombay Natural History Society.(AFP)

Crisscrossing migration puts India at high risk, say experts

By Zia Haq | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 02:12 AM IST
An outbreak of avian influenza has gripped four states, but it poses little risk to humans at this stage, the officials said, as the Union government put all states on alert to stop its spread and economic impact.
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Farmers and their supporters have 'langar', arranged by Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, outside the Vigyan Bhavan during their talks with the government over farm reform laws in New Delhi on Monday.(PTI Photo)
Farmers and their supporters have 'langar', arranged by Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, outside the Vigyan Bhavan during their talks with the government over farm reform laws in New Delhi on Monday.(PTI Photo)

Farm talks fail again, Centre says no repeal

By Zia Haq | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 05, 2021 06:02 AM IST
Farm union leaders said they were prepared to intensify their agitation and added that the government was not prepared to budge from its stand.
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Farmers during their protest against the new farm laws, at Singhu border in New Delhi.(PTI)
Farmers during their protest against the new farm laws, at Singhu border in New Delhi.(PTI)

Farmer-govt talks today; 2 key demands on table

By Zia Haq | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 05:36 AM IST
Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash will lead the government side, while 40 leaders of farm union will represent farmers at the talks.
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A farmer working in his paddy field at Bothgarh outskirts of Morinda town in Ludhiana.(HT File Photo)
A farmer working in his paddy field at Bothgarh outskirts of Morinda town in Ludhiana.(HT File Photo)

Paddy procurement at MSP up 23%: Govt data

By Zia Haq | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2021 04:58 AM IST
The food ministry’s official projections show the government’s total procurement for summer paddy (2020-21) will likely touch 74.2 million tonnes, up from the total quantity of 62.7 million procured during 2019-20, an increase of 18%. Punjab’s share in total paddy procurement stands at 42%.
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A farmer holds the Tricolor during a protest against the new farm laws, at Singhu Border in New Delhi.(PTI)
A farmer holds the Tricolor during a protest against the new farm laws, at Singhu Border in New Delhi.(PTI)

Farm laws stir: Breakthrough as govt accepts two demands of farmers

By Zia Haq | Hindustan Times,
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 06:06 AM IST
However, with the two principal demands of a repeal of three new farm laws and a legal guarantee of minimum support prices yet to be discussed, the light at the end of the tunnel is still faint.
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The ministers shared meals with farmers during a lunch break after the first round of talks, presenting a picture of bonhomie amid the tough negotiations.(PTI)
The ministers shared meals with farmers during a lunch break after the first round of talks, presenting a picture of bonhomie amid the tough negotiations.(PTI)

Centre proposes committee to review farm laws, rules out repeal

By Zia Haq | Hidustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 30, 2020 06:18 PM IST
Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash also discussed the possibility of a law on guaranteeing minimum prices for farm prices, said a senior farmers’ representative present in the talks.
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Farmers say the reforms would make them vulnerable to exploitation by big corporations and erode the government’s procurement system, whereby the government buys staples, such as wheat and rice, at guaranteed rates, known as minimum support prices (MSP). (HT Photo)
Farmers say the reforms would make them vulnerable to exploitation by big corporations and erode the government’s procurement system, whereby the government buys staples, such as wheat and rice, at guaranteed rates, known as minimum support prices (MSP). (HT Photo)

3 union ministers, 40 farm leaders in huddle over Central farm acts

By Zia Haq | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 30, 2020 03:08 PM IST
According to an official, farm minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government is open to negotiations and suggested that, if everyone agreed, the talks could take up the easier issues first.
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