Zia Haq

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

Articles by Zia Haq

Steady supply leads to crash in onion prices

Prices of onions usually spiral during November, knocking household budgets. This year, however, steady supplies have caused prices to crash, hurting farmers, market data show

Traders say the government has been releasing onions routinely from its buffer stock to keep retail prices steady (FILE)
Updated on Nov 25, 2022 05:16 AM IST

Savarkar’s plea to British was part of a tactical move: Assam CM Himanta Sarma

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has returned from a high-voltage campaign in Gujarat.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. (File photo)
Updated on Nov 21, 2022 04:56 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Punjab seeks shorter-duration paddy to reduce stubble burning 

Farmers will adopt shorter duration varieties if they are as robust as Pusa-44, and our institution is ready to extend all necessary help,” said AK Singh, chief of Indian Agricultural Research Institute

Farmers sow paddy in Mandaur on Nabha road in Patiala. (HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 21, 2022 02:01 AM IST
ByZia Haq , Hindustan Times, New Delhi

PM Modi to commemorate Ahom general on his 400th birth anniversary: Assam CM

A flagship event will be held at the national capital’s Vigyan Bhawan on November 23-24, Sarma said.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(File photo)
Updated on Nov 20, 2022 06:51 AM IST
By, New Delhi

India to shift to USB C as common charging port for all smart devices

The stakeholders reached a consensus at a meeting of an inter-ministerial task force set up by the Union government, according to consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar.

Airport public charger and man's hands with smartphone. Airplane in reflection. Using device in the journey. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Nov 17, 2022 05:24 AM IST

Govt to launch unified portal for multi-brand gadget repair

The single-point portal will effectively roll out the consumer affairs ministry’s ‘right to repair’ policy announced in July

The consumer affairs ministry has written to 23 leading consumer electronics firms for the same. (File image | Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 16, 2022 11:12 AM IST

Retail inflation eases to three-month low in October

Consumer inflation in October slowed to a three-month low of 6.7% on-year due to moderating food prices, compared to a 7.4% rise in the previous month

Retail inflation has remained above the Reserve Bank of India’s so-called acceptable limit of 6% (+/-2%) for the tenth straight month. (Representative Image)
Published on Nov 14, 2022 06:38 PM IST

PM Modi to inaugurate fertiliser plant in Telangana tomorrow

PM Modi will inaugurate a plant of Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd in Telangana on November 12, which is expected to add 1.2 million tonne of indigenous urea production capacity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE)
Updated on Nov 11, 2022 03:13 AM IST

Water link to air crisis: 2009 Punjab law spark for stubble fires

In north India’s food-bowl states, farmers set aflame paddy stalks around October to clear their fields for their next crop. This releases millions of tonnes of smoke, carbon dioxide stored in plant biomass, toxins and planet-warming gases in the atmosphere. Some environmentalists reckon this to be the deadliest spell of pollution in all of South Asia.

A farmer burns stubble in outskirts of Ludhiana. (HT Photos)
Updated on Nov 09, 2022 10:56 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Govt panels to assess climate crisis impact on crop yields

India recorded its hottest March on record this year, which shaved off 3 million tonne from its wheat output. In September, a late surge in monsoon flooded several states, destroying oilseeds and pulses, and delaying the rice harvest.

Severe heatwaves and changing rainfall patterns threaten India’s food security, especially its rice and wheat cropping systems, critical to feeding the world’s second-most populous nation, climate scientists have warned.
Updated on Nov 06, 2022 08:24 AM IST
By, New Delhi

India allows 6million tonne of sugar export

The limit on exportable quantity comes amid the Union government’s efforts to rapidly scale up its ethanol-blending programme.

The country has advanced of the target year for 20% ethanol-blending by five years to 2025. Ethanol made from molasses, a sugar byproduct. (AP)
Updated on Nov 06, 2022 02:59 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Cabinet approves additional subsidy for P&K fertilisers

The move will cushion prices of crop nutrients that are governed by the Centre’s nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) scheme

India imports bulk of its crop nutrients, whose prices have spiralled to a five-year high due to the Ukraine war, higher energy costs and knock-on effects on supplies due to pandemic. (File)
Updated on Nov 03, 2022 12:50 AM IST

Climate crisis threatens India’s food security, warn scientists

Climate scientists have warned that scorching heatwaves in India, among other extreme weather events, are “most certainly” being driven by global warming, posing a risk to the country’s food security.

Several studies have now predicted that stronger and early-onset heatwaves, along with large variations in rainfall patterns, could jeopardise the country’s output of rice and wheat, leading to shortages. (PTI)
Updated on Nov 02, 2022 05:00 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Genetically modified mustard may take 2 years to reach farms

The permission for commercial cultivation of indigenously developed genetically modified (GM) mustard by India’s biotech regulator on October 18 is final, an official aware of the matter said on Thursday, requesting anonymity.

An initial go-ahead for GM mustard was halted in 2017. (Reuters)
Updated on Oct 28, 2022 01:25 AM IST

GM mustard is ‘safe and effective’, says its inventor

India’s biotech regulator, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, approved genetically modified mustard developed by Pental and his team at Delhi University for commercial cultivation

Deepak Pental said that the genes used in GM mustard have been deregulated in countries such as Canada, US and Australia, which are all big producers of honey. (HT Photo)
Published on Oct 27, 2022 12:16 AM IST

Philippines approves cultivation of Bt brinjal

A GM plant is one in which genes have been tweaked or introduced from outside to give it new traits, such as pest resistance or nutritional enhancement.

Bt brinjal or eggplant is a GM variety that is resistant to a pest called fruit and shoot borer. (PTI)
Published on Oct 27, 2022 12:10 AM IST
ByZia Haq I Edited by Shilpa Ambardar, New Delhi

GM mustard gets regulator approval for field cultivation

India’s biotech regulator, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), has approved genetically modified (GM) mustard for commercial cultivation, paving the way for the country’s first transgenic food crop, nearly 15 years after its inventor, a public-sector scientist, first worked on it in his Delhi University lab and fields near the national capital.

HT Image
Published on Oct 26, 2022 11:47 PM IST
ByZia Haq & Jayashree Nandi, New Delhi

India’s biotech regulator GEAC approves commercial cultivation of GM mustard

The clearance for GM mustard by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), India’s state-run biotech regulator, means the crop is fit for environmental release

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government is now expected to take a political call on whether to allow commercial cultivation of GM mustard in India. (File Photo/REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 26, 2022 01:53 PM IST

Late rice harvesting delays wheat sowing

The October-to-March rabi crop season accounts for nearly half of India’s food output. After initially patchy rains this year led to a lower rice crop, a late surge in showers in September and early October flooded several food-bowl states.

To boost domestic availability, the government banned wheat export in May.
Updated on Oct 26, 2022 04:53 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Centre stocks imported pulses, extends levy cuts to tame prices

India’s retail inflation accelerated in September to a five-month high of 7.41% year-on-year, driven by food prices, which stood at a record 8.6%, according to latest official data.

Pulses inflation rose marginally in September at 3% due to lower duties and higher imports in the previous financial year. (Bloomberg file photo. Representative image)
Updated on Oct 22, 2022 05:07 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Cabinet nod to 5.5% MSP hike for wheat

The Union Cabinet on economic affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday approved hikes in minimum support prices (MSPs) for rabi or winter-sown crops (2023-24).

Updated on Oct 19, 2022 05:20 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Govt raises MSPs for rabi, or winter-sown, crops

The highest increase in minimum support price (MSP) is for lentils, while wheat MSP is hiked from ₹2,015 to ₹2,125 a quintal

The decision for MSP price hike was taken by the Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)
Updated on Oct 18, 2022 02:55 PM IST

Centre may sell cereals in open market to rein in prices

India has a surplus of federally held stocks of rice and wheat, and the government could intervene in the open market “if needed” by selling cereals at a discount to curb prices, food secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Monday.

Farmers load a sack of rice grains into a truck in a field during harvest season, at Tral in Pulwama district of South Kashmir, on September 24. (PTI)
Published on Oct 18, 2022 12:23 AM IST

Modi releases 16k crore as 12th PM-Kisan payout

PM Modi launches the government’s One Nation One Fertiliser programme and asked cultivators to adopt new technologies and strive to be atmanirbhar (self-sufficient)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects the products on display at the inauguration of PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022, in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)
Published on Oct 17, 2022 11:44 PM IST

Centre may nudge states for support over inflation

“Only monetary policy and the interest rate management (done by the central bank) is not enough to keep inflationary pressures under check. The Centre is supplementing it with various fiscal measures such as adjustments of excise and customs duties,” one of them said. “But, states should also contribute in easing supply pressure.”

The Centre will continue to take measures to supplement the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary actions to tame inflation. (REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 17, 2022 05:40 AM IST
ByRajeev Jayaswal & Zia Haq, New Delhi

PM Modi to release PM-Kisan 12th tranche tomorrow, interact with farmers

During the event on Monday, PM Modi will also inaugurate a two-day agricultural conference titled “PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022”, which will host an agricultural start-up conclave at the Delhi-based state-run Indian Agricultural Research Institute.

According to the agriculture ministry, PM Modi will address thousands of farmers, agri start-ups, researchers, policymakers and bankers (PTI)
Updated on Oct 16, 2022 04:45 AM IST
By, New Delhi

‘Biased, erroneous’: Centre rejects hunger index report

In 2021, India was ranked 101 among 116 countries by the hunger index. Since the total number of countries evaluated between the previous year and 2022 vary and there are some differences in the source data, India’s rankings for 2022 and 2021 aren’t comparable, the GHI 2022 said.

In 2014, India’s hunger score was 28.2, compared to 29.1 this year (PTI)
Updated on Oct 16, 2022 05:16 AM IST

India’s foodgrain stocks decline to 5-year low: FCI data

Rice stocks are sufficient to meet domestic requirements but wheat stocks have plunged to a 14-year low

A prolonged heatwave in March crimped wheat output, prompting the government to ban export in May. (File image)
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 11:42 AM IST

Centre considers steps to keep food inflation in check

India’s consumer inflation rate surged to a five-month high of 7.41% in September on an annual basis, compared to a 7% rise in the previous month, breaching the Reserve Bank of India’s target of 2-6% for the ninth straight month, data released on Wednesday showed.

Representational photo
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 10:49 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Cabinet clears bill for reform in policies governing cooperatives

India has nearly 900,000 such cooperatives, the most in the world, which account for nearly 20% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which seeks to bring major reforms in policies governing businesses collectively owned and run by members who share profits. (PTI)
Updated on Oct 13, 2022 04:51 AM IST
By, New Delhi
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