Zia Haq

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

Articles by Zia Haq

Food prices stay high despite bumper harvest

  • Declining vegetable prices was more than offset by costlier oils and fats mainly because higher global prices of edible oil. The country imports up to two-thirds of its cooking oil.
Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index rose to 5.6% year on year in December from 4.9% in November.
Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index rose to 5.6% year on year in December from 4.9% in November.
Published on Jan 14, 2022 04:39 AM IST
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Winter sowing powers on despite third wave

The farm sector has emerged relatively unscathed from the pandemic due to higher subsidies and fewer Covid-related curbs even as millions of farmers were on protest against three farm laws, which were eventually repealed by the government on November 30.
As on January 10, the total area sown under rabi crops is 65.2 million hectares.(Bijay/Hindustan Times representative image)
As on January 10, the total area sown under rabi crops is 65.2 million hectares.(Bijay/Hindustan Times representative image)
Updated on Jan 13, 2022 12:26 AM IST
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Budget may raise agri credit to nearly 18 lakh crore

Successive budgets have enhanced the farm-credit target over the years, from about 10 lakh crore in 2017-18 to about 16.5 lakh crore in the current financial year
A farmer works in a paddy field in the Montali area of Agartala. The livelihoods of nearly half of all Indians is tied to the agriculture sector. (Archive)
A farmer works in a paddy field in the Montali area of Agartala. The livelihoods of nearly half of all Indians is tied to the agriculture sector. (Archive)
Updated on Jan 06, 2022 07:26 AM IST
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Centre aims for digital push in revamp plan for cooperatives

The ministry will focus on building cooperative societies as the pivot of a whole gamut of economic activities, from financial services to production of finished goods, according to officials.
Home Minister Amit Shah heads the ministry of cooperation.
Home Minister Amit Shah heads the ministry of cooperation.
Updated on Jan 05, 2022 02:32 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Zia Haq, Associate Editor, picks his favourite read of 2021

Economist Ryan A Bourne’s sharply-written book explains simple economic concepts through the US government’s response to the pandemic, whose lessons are consequential for all
Ryan A Bourne’s book explains economic concepts through the US government’s pandemic response. (HT Team)
Ryan A Bourne’s book explains economic concepts through the US government’s pandemic response. (HT Team)
Updated on Dec 25, 2021 03:54 AM IST
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As India’s agri export grows to record level, so do objections at WTO

India exported farm produce worth $32.5 billion in 20-21, just a touch below the all-time record of $32.7 billion achieved in 2012-13
Official data from the ministry of commerce show that agriculture exports from India registered a sharp increase of nearly 25% in 2020-21 over the previous year (Praful Gangurde)
Official data from the ministry of commerce show that agriculture exports from India registered a sharp increase of nearly 25% in 2020-21 over the previous year (Praful Gangurde)
Updated on Dec 15, 2021 08:28 PM IST
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PM Modi to address national summit on zero-budget natural farming in Gujarat

The National Summit on Agro and Food Processing, in which Modi is set to make a valedictory address via videoconferencing, is being organized by the Gujarat government.
On November 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while announcing a decision to cancel the three contentious farm laws had said the Centre would set up a committee to ensure minimum support prices and promote zero budget farming. (ANI)
On November 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while announcing a decision to cancel the three contentious farm laws had said the Centre would set up a committee to ensure minimum support prices and promote zero budget farming. (ANI)
Published on Dec 14, 2021 12:13 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Stir called off, farmers head home from Delhi’s borders

The Union government and the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a platform of farm unions, on Thursday reached a deal on a raft of demands that had sparked yearlong protests by peasants in a major political challenge to the Modi regime
HT Image
HT Image
Published on Dec 10, 2021 04:07 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Demand for legally guaranteed MSP could put fiscal strain, experts warn

In a key concession to protesting farm unions, the Union government has proposed to set up a committee “mandated” to ensure Indian farmers get MSP for their produce
Farmers dismantle their tents after SKM leaders announced to call off the agitation, at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Thursday. (Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
Farmers dismantle their tents after SKM leaders announced to call off the agitation, at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Thursday. (Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
Updated on Dec 10, 2021 12:27 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Farm protest is over, all eyes now on impact in political arena

A turning point came when four farmers returning from a protest died when a car owned by the son of a Union minister recklessly ploughed into them in Uttar Pradesh.
Farmers carrying their belongings leave for their native places after the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) announces the suspension of ongoing protest, at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI)
Farmers carrying their belongings leave for their native places after the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) announces the suspension of ongoing protest, at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI)
Published on Dec 10, 2021 12:18 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Farm unions clinch deal with Centre, call off protests

The compromise between the Centre and protesting farm unions came after two days of back-channel negotiations that saw proposals being sent back and forth, and 11 rounds of tenuous negotiations that hit a deadlock on January 22, 2021.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has accepted a slew of proposals from the Centre, contained in a letter signed by Union agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal, towards resolving key agrarian issues. (SAKIB ALI/HT PHOTO.)
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has accepted a slew of proposals from the Centre, contained in a letter signed by Union agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal, towards resolving key agrarian issues. (SAKIB ALI/HT PHOTO.)
Published on Dec 09, 2021 06:29 PM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Farmers set to call off stir as govt agrees to demands

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of protesting farm unions, said on Wednesday that it was close to sealing a deal with the Union government after the two sides settled on a set of revised draft proposals to resolve the pending demands of the cultivators
Farmer leaders address a press conference after the meeting at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Wednesday.(Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Farmer leaders address a press conference after the meeting at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Wednesday.(Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Published on Dec 09, 2021 12:08 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

India replaces Brazil as top food supplier to Arab League countries

A Reuters report from Sao Paulo said India accounted for 8.25% of the total agribusiness products imported by the 22 Arab League members last year, higher than Brazil’s 8.15%
India’s edge over Brazil lay in quickly shipping food products to the Arab states beating pandemic-related disruptions to global supply chains. (AFP/ Representational image)
India’s edge over Brazil lay in quickly shipping food products to the Arab states beating pandemic-related disruptions to global supply chains. (AFP/ Representational image)
Published on Dec 08, 2021 01:01 PM IST
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RBI keeps key rates unchanged to spur economic recovery

The repo rate stands unchanged at 4% whereas the reverse repo rate remains at 3.35%. The marginal standing facility (MSF) and the Bank Rate also remain unchanged at 4.25%.
A file photo of the RBI logo at the gate of its office in New Delhi. The central bank on Wednesday kept the repo rate unchanged at 4% while the reverse repo rate remained at 3.35%. (REUTERS)
A file photo of the RBI logo at the gate of its office in New Delhi. The central bank on Wednesday kept the repo rate unchanged at 4% while the reverse repo rate remained at 3.35%. (REUTERS)
Published on Dec 08, 2021 12:44 PM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Farm unions discuss key proposals from Centre, likely to call off stir

In the letter sent through the Union home ministry, the Centre said it was willing to accept the major demands of the unions provided the farmers end their protests and return home.
Farm leaders who took part in the meeting on Tuesday said SKM “appreciated” the Centre’s move, but that there were still some sticking points, and discussions will resume on Wednesday.(ANI Photo)
Farm leaders who took part in the meeting on Tuesday said SKM “appreciated” the Centre’s move, but that there were still some sticking points, and discussions will resume on Wednesday.(ANI Photo)
Updated on Dec 08, 2021 07:06 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

SKM forms 5-member panel to talk with Centre on pending demands

Farmer leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal, Ashok Dhawle, Shiv Kumar Kakka, Gurnam Singh Chaduni and Yudhvir Singh were named the members of the committee after a meeting was held by the SKM
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait addresses media after Samyukta Kisan Morcha meeting at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)
Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait addresses media after Samyukta Kisan Morcha meeting at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)
Updated on Dec 05, 2021 01:45 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Prospects of farm talks brighten, SKM forms panel

The Union government is indirectly talking to some farm leaders to prepare the ground for dialogue over a slew of remaining demands by cultivators
 (PTI)
(PTI)
Updated on Dec 04, 2021 10:27 PM IST
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Crop insurance: States yet to pay 4,744 crore subsidy, Parliament told

The total subsidy amount that state governments owed over the past three financial years in a row stood at 4,744 crore as on November 24, 2021, according to figures revealed by agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply to a query in Parliament.
Several large states are yet to pay thousands of crores towards their share of subsidy for premiums under the flagship farm insurance programme, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. (HT file photo)
Several large states are yet to pay thousands of crores towards their share of subsidy for premiums under the flagship farm insurance programme, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. (HT file photo)
Updated on Dec 02, 2021 12:10 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Parliament winter session: No data on farmers’ death during protest, says govt

Farmers’ protest: “The ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare has no record in the matter (deaths) and hence the question does not arise,” the govt told Lok Sabha.
The govt said it has no data on farmers who died during the year-long protests against the three farm laws repealed on November 29. (Hindustan Times)
The govt said it has no data on farmers who died during the year-long protests against the three farm laws repealed on November 29. (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Dec 02, 2021 04:59 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

States owe staggering sums towards crop insurance subsidy: Centre tells Parliament

Delay in paying compensation for crops ruined by weather shocks and payment of subsidies can push millions of farmers into poverty, leaving them with little money for the next sowing season.
Farmers who opt for crop insurance have to pay 2% for kharif or summer-sown crops and 1.5% for rabi-sown food crops and oilseeds. (HT PHOTO.)
Farmers who opt for crop insurance have to pay 2% for kharif or summer-sown crops and 1.5% for rabi-sown food crops and oilseeds. (HT PHOTO.)
Published on Dec 01, 2021 09:14 PM IST
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SBI expects growth to top 9.5% in FY22 as private investment accelerates

Growth clocked 8.4% in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, data released by India’s National Statistical Office on Tuesday showed, beating expectations.
India’s economy grew by 8.4% in the July-September quarter from the same period a year earlier, the government announced Tuesday, raising hopes of a recovery after the country suffered historic contractions sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP)
India’s economy grew by 8.4% in the July-September quarter from the same period a year earlier, the government announced Tuesday, raising hopes of a recovery after the country suffered historic contractions sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP)
Published on Dec 01, 2021 06:58 PM IST
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Centre says no data on farmers’ death, so no compensation

This is the second time the Union government has informed Parliament it had no information on farmers’ death at various protest sites. During Parliament’s Monsoon Session too held during July-August, the government had said it did not have any such data.
Farm unions have claimed nearly 700 farmers lost their lives during the protests and their pending demands include compensation as well as withdrawal of all criminal cases lodged against protesting farmers. (AFP PHOTO.)
Farm unions have claimed nearly 700 farmers lost their lives during the protests and their pending demands include compensation as well as withdrawal of all criminal cases lodged against protesting farmers. (AFP PHOTO.)
Updated on Dec 01, 2021 05:31 PM IST
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Approached by Centre to join panel proposed by PM Modi: SKM

Farm unions may decide to participate in the committee if it is a “concrete” step towards guaranteeing prices of agricultural produce, farm leader Gurnam Singh Charuni said on Tuesday.
Protesting farmers raise their hands and shout slogans during a protest in New Delhi on November 29. (Bloomberg)
Protesting farmers raise their hands and shout slogans during a protest in New Delhi on November 29. (Bloomberg)
Updated on Dec 01, 2021 06:23 AM IST
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Farm laws repealed: First major victory of farmers’ protest, says SKM

Farm unions on Monday termed the repeal of three agricultural laws by Parliament as a historic victory but criticised the government for repealing the laws without a discussion.
A farmer waves the Indian tri-colour at Ghazipur protest site after a bill to repeal the farm laws was passed in Parliament on Monday. (Sakib Ali/HT photo)
A farmer waves the Indian tri-colour at Ghazipur protest site after a bill to repeal the farm laws was passed in Parliament on Monday. (Sakib Ali/HT photo)
Updated on Nov 30, 2021 06:36 AM IST
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Bill to repeal farm laws passed in Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha passed the Farm Laws Repeal Bill 2021 without discussion as soon as the lower House opened for proceedings on the first day of the ongoing winter session of Parliament on Monday
The winter session of Parliament began on Monday and the Farm Law Repeal Bill was taken up on the first day.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)
The winter session of Parliament began on Monday and the Farm Law Repeal Bill was taken up on the first day.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 29, 2021 01:09 PM IST
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ByZia Haq and Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Parliament march cancelled as Tomar calls for end of stir

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farm unions, said it was suspending, till December 4, its plans to hold a demonstration in the national capital to coincide with the winter session of Parliament.
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar.(PTI)
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar.(PTI)
Updated on Nov 28, 2021 12:15 AM IST
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Farm minister says crop-burning to be decriminalised, farmers suspend Parliament march

During a nationally televised address on November 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said his government would withdraw the three laws, following year-long protests by farmers who say the legislation would have jeopardised their livelihoods.
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to farmers on Saturday morning to end their agitation since the government was withdrawing the controversial farm laws. (PTI PHOTO.)
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to farmers on Saturday morning to end their agitation since the government was withdrawing the controversial farm laws. (PTI PHOTO.)
Published on Nov 27, 2021 07:33 PM IST
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Cabinet gives nod for repeal of farm laws

Under Article 245, Parliament is vested with powers to both pass and annul laws. If Parliament is in recess, the government can repeal or enact laws by bringing an ordinance, which needs to be ratified by the House later
The decision to scrap the laws came ahead of state elections in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous, bellwether state, and Punjab, where farmers are an influential voting bloc. (PTI Photo/File/Representative use)
The decision to scrap the laws came ahead of state elections in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous, bellwether state, and Punjab, where farmers are an influential voting bloc. (PTI Photo/File/Representative use)
Updated on Nov 25, 2021 12:15 AM IST
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By, New delhi

Cabinet may clear draft legislation to repeal farm laws today

The Cabinet’s nod will allow the government to table the “repeal bill” in Parliament to revoke three separate laws enacted by the government in Sept 2020 to liberalise trade in farm produce.
Farmers at the Samyukt Kisan Morcha mahapanchayat, in Lucknow, on Monday. The Cabinet is likely to approve a draft bill on Wednesday to set in motion a legislative process to repeal three contentious farm laws.
Farmers at the Samyukt Kisan Morcha mahapanchayat, in Lucknow, on Monday. The Cabinet is likely to approve a draft bill on Wednesday to set in motion a legislative process to repeal three contentious farm laws.
Updated on Nov 24, 2021 08:40 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Centre launches first-ever survey of domestic help to shape employment policy

Domestic workers are believed to be at least 4 million strong, according to a 2017 International Labour Organization study, but there is little official information on their actual number; and little is known about their work conditions and average pay.
The survey is designed to fill this gap and offer “time-series data on domestic workers”, Union minister Bhupender Yadav said.(ANI File Photo)
The survey is designed to fill this gap and offer “time-series data on domestic workers”, Union minister Bhupender Yadav said.(ANI File Photo)
Updated on Nov 23, 2021 01:01 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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Tuesday, January 18, 2022