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Growth of private sector activity reaches three-month high in July 2016: Nikkei India Services PMI
Aug 03,2016

Indian service providers enjoyed a welcome upturn in demand during July, with a faster increase in new business underpinning stronger growth of output and boosting confidence. Part of the upswing in incoming new work was supported by price discounts. Output charges were lowered for the first time in nine months, while input costs also decreased.

At 51.9 in July, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index posted above the no-change mark of 50.0 for the thirteenth month running, highlighting ongoing growth of output in the sector. Up from 50.3 in June, the headline index was at a three-month high and indicative of a modest rate of expansion.

With growth of manufacturing production also quickening, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index climbed to a three-month high of 52.4 in July (June: 51.1). This reading was consistent with a moderate increase in private sector activity overall.

Leading services output to rise was a further expansion in incoming new business, one that was the most pronounced since April. According to survey participants, the upturn was supported by successful price negotiations with clients as well as improved marketing campaigns. Manufacturing order books increased at the quickest pace since March.

Employment was broadly unchanged in both the manufacturing and service sectors during July, as indicated by the respective indices recording only fractionally above the crucial 50.0 threshold. It has now been over two-and-a-half years since the private sector has seen meaningful job creation.

Amid reports of lower prices paid for fuel and some commodities, average input costs facing service providers fell in July. The decrease was the first since September 2015 and the rate of reduction was slight overall. Conversely, purchasing costs at goods producers continued to rise, although the rate of inflation softened to a five-month low.

Lower services costs were passed on to clients as indicated by an overall decline in selling prices, the first in nine months. However, output charges fell at only a slight pace as the vast majority of survey respondents signalled no change in prices charged. By comparison, factory gate prices rose at a slight pace, which was nevertheless the quickest since April.

July data highlighted a second successive monthly increase in unfinished business volumes at Indian service providers. The rate of accumulation was moderate, but above the long-run survey average. At manufacturers, work-in-hand rose at the fastest pace in one-and-a-half years. Higher backlogs were linked by private sector firms to delayed payments from clients.

Business sentiment among Indian service providers improved during July, with the degree of optimism reaching a four-month high. Those survey participants forecasting higher levels of output in the coming 12 months commented on expectations of better economic conditions and planned increases in marketing budgets.

Commenting on the Indian Services PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, economist at Markit, which compiles the survey, said: The Indian service economy started the second semester on a solid footing, posting its strongest performance since April and thereby indicating that underlying demand conditions remained reasonably firm. Nevertheless, growth remains below-par compared with the long-run survey trend and, although expansion has been sustained for 13 consecutive months, the sector has so far failed to generate jobs. Service providers signalled declining price pressures, with output charges being cut in line with an overall decrease in input costs.

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Horticulture Production Assessment under the Project CHAMAN
Aug 03,2016

The nature of horticulture crops is such that it is not easy to make assessment of their production. These crops, especially vegetables are grown in small plots, fields or in the back of the houses, do not have single harvesting in most of the cases which makes their assessment difficult. Many horticulture crops have multiple pickings in a single season. Similarly many fruit trees are scattered, which do not count for assessment.

In view of above difficulties several research studies were taken up by agricultural scientists in the past. Recently Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare has launched a new project called CHAMAN. Under this project sound methodology for estimation of Horticulture crops is being developed and implemented on pilot basis using Sample Survey methodology and Remote Sensing technology.

Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI) has developed a Sample Survey methodology which is now being implemented on pilot basis in 5 states for estimation of area & production in respect of major horticulture crops under the project CHAMAN.

Simultaneously under CHAMAN, another project for area and production assessment of seven major horticulture crops through Remote Sensing, is being carried out by Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC). Besides estimation of crops, MNCFC is carrying out several developmental studies and is also conducting some research studies for precision farming and developing signatures for horticulture crops like vegetables, being grown in smaller plots, for their assessment.

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GST will mitigate the cascading effect of taxation : CII
Aug 03,2016

The roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be a revolutionary step in the field of indirect taxation reform in India, said Mr Sanjay Khurana, Chairman, CII Himachal Pradesh State Council at the Preparatory Workshop organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). By amalgamating a large number of Central and State taxes into a single entity, it will mitigate the cascading or double taxation effect in a major way and pave the way for a common unified national market, he added.

Talking about the objective of having this Workshop, Mr Khurana said that it is important for industry to understand the impact and opportunities offered by this particular piece of legislation. GST will affect all industries, irrespective of the sector. It will impact the entire value chain of operations, namely procurement, manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, sales, and pricing. It will also trigger the need to relook at internal organization IT systems, he added.

Expressing his views on GST, Mr Amit Sarkar, Partner & National Head, Indirect tax, Grant Thornton India LLP said that GST is not just a game changer for the taxation structure of the country, but will also be an opportunity for India to upgrade its regulatory environment to the global best practices. He was of the opinion that if handled and implemented well, GST has the potential to unlock countrys growth prospects.

It is encouraging to see the efforts that the Government is making to bring GST to the best interest of the country said Mr Krishan Arora, Director, Indirect tax, Grant Thornton India LLP. He was hopeful that the monsoon session would witness consensus reached amongst all the political parties facilitating in this landmark reform progressing towards reality.

Sharing his perspective on GST and its economic benefits to industry, Mr Babu Khan, Regional Director, CII Northern Region said that GST, when implemented, is expected to usher in a harmonised national market of goods and services and shall lead to a simplified, assessee-friendly tax administration system. It will subsume most of the countrys central and state level duties and taxes, thus making the country one national market and contribute significantly to the growth of the economy

Along with this, an Workshop for industry on recent changes related to Direct Taxes such as Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS), Income Declaration Scheme etc was also organised by CII

Addressing the issues on Domestic Transfer pricing, Mr Rajeev Jain, Director, Grant Thornton India LLP expressed that Domestic transfer pricing regulations were introduced in India by virtue of amendments brought out by Finance Act 2012. FY 2016-2017 will see the conclusion of first round of assessment proceedings for cases involving domestic transfer pricing disputes. There is a lot of speculation regarding the positions which would be taken by the Indian revenue authorities on various issues like coverage of transaction with indirectly held entities, applicability on capital expenditure transactions, benchmarking approach of director remuneration etc, he added.

Sharing the recent development Ms Priyanka Sahi, Direct Tax Specialist said that the notification of foreign credit rules and valuation rules for indirect transfer is a welcome move by the Government bringing about clarity and showcasing Governments keenness to lend an ear to the stakeholders involved. However, what also needs immediate attention is the roll out of final ICDS guidelines in tandem with adressing MAT implications as the industry moves towards adoption of Ind AS, she added.

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Hope to see GST become a reality tomorrow: CII President
Aug 03,2016

The ambitious Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill has been listed for discussion in Rajya Sabha which hopefully would be passed and bring about the biggest change in the countrys tax structure since independence.

The sincere determination and the persistent efforts of the government in consensus building and gaining support of almost all political parties in reaching to an agreement so far is indeed commendable, said Dr Naushad Forbes, President, CII.

Dr Forbes also commented that, while government has left no stone unturned to seek a consensus, the willingness and maturity of the key opposition party in terms of understanding the issues and straightening out the differences is indeed praiseworthy. Industry can now think of One India, which was truly pursued by all political parties in true letter and spirit, and hopefully the Bill will see the light of the day tomorrow, said Dr Forbes.

GST is Indias most significant tax reform in decades. GST, when implemented, is expected to usher in a harmonised national market of goods and services and shall lead to a simplified, assessee-friendly tax administration system. Once implemented, it will subsume most of the countrys central and state level duties and taxes, thus making the country a national market and contribute significantly to the growth of the economy, Dr Forbes further commented.

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Rains lead to increase in vegetable prices by 40%: ASSOCHAM
Aug 03,2016

Prices of vegetables such as lady fingers, cabbage, beans, brinjal, bitter gourd have increased by 35-40% over a month as heavy rains in several parts of the country have hit the supply line to Delhi-NCR, according to an ASSOCHAM paper.

The prices in Delhis wholesale markets have gone up by nearly 35 to 40 per cent over a month. Traders at the Azadpur Mandi, Asias largest wholesale fruits and vegetables market, said crops are not coming out of the fields due to stagnant water in fields, leading to shortage. Also, the weather department also has predicted similar weather condition for the next few days.

The Associated Chamber of commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) findings reveals that the perishable fruits and vegetables will bear the maximum brunt. Traders in Delhi said green or perishable vegetables like cabbage, Okra (bhindi), brinjal, Karela and coriander recorded high wholesale rates.

The disparity between Wholesale Price (WSP) and Retail prices for essential vegetables like bhindi (Okra), cabbage, Karela went up beyond 35-40% from 30 June to 30 July 2016, according to ASSOCHAM recent paper.

According to the paper, Cabbage, which was sold at 20-25 per kg in the wholesale market, touched 35 per kg. Similarly, wholesale price of brinjal varies between 20 and 25 per kg at Azadpur Mandi, adds the paper.

The crop lying in the field is bound to rot due to heavy rains. The crop is not coming out of fields and hence there is a short supply in the market, adds the paper.

Okra, which were available for Rs 20 to Rs 25 a kg, are now being sold at Rs 35-40 per kg in the market. In some of the localities in the city, vendors quote Rs 50 a kg of Okra.

The prices of beans have increased twofold in the last few days and reached Rs 55. Carrot also has become expensive and was being sold at Rs 50 a kg. Prices of other vegetables are green chilly (Rs 60 per kg) garlic (Rs 52), capsicum (Rs 45) and lemon (Rs 80/kg), ginger (Rs 120), cauliflower (Rs 48), corriander leavers (Rs 120 a kg). The options are very less for common man who has to manage with potato (Rs 20 a kg), onion (Rs 18 a kg), brinjal (Rs 24 a kg), cabbage (Rs 33 a kg) and cucumber (Rs 20 a kg), Spinach (Rs. 26 a kg).

The majority of Indian retailers are selling vegetables at prices which are significantly higher than the wholesale price index (WPI), reveals the ASSOCHAM latest study. The difference between WSP and retail prices on an average stays around 35-40%.

Wholesale price have benefited multiple times middlemen and traders, particularly for sale of essential commodities and worst hit in the process remained farmer and consumer as farmers margins squeezed badly with consumers paying unreasonably higher prices. Due to difference in both prices of wholesale and retail prices, the extra amount which end consumers are paying for vegetables is utterly disproportionate, adds the findings of the paper.

The essential vegetables incorporated in the study are brinjal long, brinjal round, Cabbage, Garlic, Ginger, Chilly, Okra, Peas, Potato fresh, Potato store, Tomato hybrid and Tomato local, highlights the paper.

ASSOCHAM urges government needs to improve infrastructure facility through encourage public private partnership (PPP) initiate for the development of cold storage and facility should be provided those farmers which are coming from the long distance area.

On the retail front, the analysis has observed that retailers are charging very high prices as compared to wholesale prices of the vegetables. In such scenario, government needs to play proactive role to control the retail price through surveillance scheme, adds the paper.

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New Mangalore Port Attracts more Cargo from Chikmagaluru
Aug 03,2016

The proactive business promotion drive by the Port by conducting business meets at various locations of the hinterland had yielded positive results. The Port had a series of business meets at Chikmagaluru and Mudigere where various potential coffee curing and trading firms are located. The recent meet with M/s Mudremane Coffee Curers, M/s Vidya Coffee and M/s Belur Coffee Curing & Trading Co. has contributed to the movement of more coffee for export through the Port. M/s Mudremane Coffee and M/s Belur Coffee, who are already using New Mangalore Port has assured to divert more cargo through the Port. M/s Vidya Coffee, who have set up state of the art new fully mechanized coffee curing plant at Chikmagaluru has committed to move their entire export consignments through New Mangalore Port.

New Mangalore Port being the highest coffee exporting port in the country is keen in adding more infrastructures for the smooth handling of containers. Additional container storage area of 20,000 sq. mtrs already commissioned and another 23,000 sq. mtrs is nearing completion. In addition to the existing 3 reach stackers, 2 more will be inducted by Sept.2016. The Port is also in the process of mechanizing one of its general cargo berths for exclusively handling containers and other clean cargo. Once all these development works are completed the port is expected to emerge as one of the leading container handling ports in the west coast of the country.

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1,12,487 Farmers Friend Identified during 2015-16 under the ATMA Scheme
Aug 03,2016

The Government has launched Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) scheme to support for extension reforms in the State during 2005-06.

Presently the Scheme is under implementation in 652 districts of 29 States and 3 UTs in the country. Under the scheme grants-in-aid is released to State Governments with an objective to support their efforts of revitalization of the extension system and making available the latest agricultural technologies in different thematic areas to increase agricultural production through extension activities viz. Farmers Training, Demonstration, Exposure Visits, Kisan Mela, Mobilization of Farmers Groups and Setting up of Farm Schools. In order to percolate the benefits of ATMA Scheme down to the farmers for adoption of good agricultural practices, an innovative support is being provided under the Scheme w.e.f. 2010-11 through Farmer Friend (FF) at village level @ one FF per two villages. The FF is serving as a vital link between extension workers and farmers at village level.

1,06,618 and 1,12,487 Farmers Friend (FF) identified under the scheme respective year 2014-15 and 2015-16

Under the Scheme, Grants-in-aid is released to State Governments through their respective State Treasuries based on their approved State Extension Work Plan (SEWP). No component-wise funds are released to the States by the Government of India. State Governments allocate funds (component/activity wise) based on their priority areas and approved Work Plans. State-wise details of funds allocated, released and utilized for implementation of ATMA Scheme during the said period including Uttar Pradesh is given in Annexure-II. Government of Uttar Pradesh has not yet identified FF under ATMA Scheme.

ATMA Guidelines, 2014 provide for identifying one FF per two villages. Further, as per Guidelines, Farmer Friends are provided with special opportunity for up-gradation of their skills through Trainings, Study Tours and Visits to State Agricultural Universities/other institutes, by utilizing support available under ATMA. For assisting FF a provision of contingency amount of Rs.6000/- per annum has been made under the Scheme which is shared between the Centre and the State Government on 50:50 basis.

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Krishi Vigyan Kendras Portal will help in monitoring the functioning of KVKs at the National level
Aug 03,2016

The Government has recently launched Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) Portal which will help in monitoring the functioning of KVKs at the National level and in providing timely information and advisory to the farmers.

The aim of the portal is to transfer the technologies developed by the agricultural scientists to the farmers in a fast and effective manner using web and mobile technology as well as to monitor the activities of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). The objectives of the portal is to create a platform to monitor the various activities as well as resource utilization by various KVKs; to create a database of the various programmes organized by the KVKs along with their detailed information and learning resources; to help the farmers in resolving their queries using web and mobile technologies; to provide information about various facilities and activities performed by the KVKs and to provide linkage to other important information such as weather and market information.

The portal provides provisions for online monitoring of KVKs which include reporting of major events on regular basis and submission of monthly reports online. The portal also provides information on different services being provided by different KVKs. The portal also has links for accessing Weather and Market related information by the farmers; forthcoming programmes is also be available on the website which will benefit farmers and youth in joining different training programmes being organized by KVKs. The portal also maintains the database of past programmes along with related information such as technologies covered, photo and videos; Question and answer facility is available for the farmers and Agriculture related information of the districts is available on the portal. The farmers and the Agricultural Officers may register themselves and seek different information related to KVKs.

There are 645 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in the country. For improving the functioning of KVKs, Government has approved for creation of some additional facilities in selected KVKs including rain water harvesting; soil and water testing facilities; minimal processing facilities; carp hatcheries; integrated farming system units; and e-linkage facilities during 12th Five Year Plan. The new initiatives taken to revitalize KVKs include provision of technology information units; mini seed processing facilities; 25 KVA silent genset; micro-nutrient analysis facilities; provision of solar power panels, KVK and KVK-Net, e-farmers; and mandating some of the KVKs to work as specialized KVKs. Besides, Government has also approved for strengthening KVKs during 12th Five Year Plan in terms of enhanced manpower, infrastructure facilities and financial support for working contingency to carry-out the mandated role of frontline extension system in the country.

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Storage status of 91 major reservoirs of the country was 59.366 BCM as on July 28, 2016
Aug 02,2016

The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on July 28, 2016 was 59.366 BCM, which is 38% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This was 87% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 94% of storage of average of last ten years.

The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 157.799 BCM which is about 62% of the total storage capacity of 253.388 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.



The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are 6 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 6.48 BCM which is 36% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 69% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 47% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.


The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 6.09 BCM which is 32% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 45% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 33% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.


The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 27.07 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 9.77 BCM which is 36% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 34% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 41% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the storage of last year but is less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.


The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 42.30 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 21.26 BCM which is 50% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 53% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 33% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year but is better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.


The Southern region includes States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states) Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 15.76 BCM which is 31% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 31% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 45% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is equal to the corresponding period of last year and is less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

States having better storage than last year for corresponding period are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states), Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. States having equal storage than last year for corresponding period is Karnataka. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tripura, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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The estimated production of Foodgrains during 2015-16 is 252.22 million tonnes
Aug 02,2016

The 4th Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2015-16 have been released by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare.

The estimated production of major crops during 2015-16 is as under:

n++ Foodgrains - 252.22 million tonnes

n++ Rice - 104.32 million tonnes

n++ Wheat - 93.50 million tonnes

n++ Coarse Cereals - 37.94 million tonnes

n++ Pulses - 16.47 million tonnes

n++ Oilseeds - 25.3 million tonnes

n++ Cotton - 30.147 million bales (of 170 kg each)

n++ Sugarcane - 352.163 million tonnes

Despite setback due to deficient rainfall and due to shortage of water in reservoirs. As per the 4th Advance Estimates for 2015-16 total foodgrains production in the country has been higher than that in the last year. Total foodgrains production during 2015-16, estimated at 252.22 million tonnes, has been higher by 0.20 million tonnes over the production of 252.02 million tonnes during 2014-15.

Total production of rice during 2015-16 is estimated at 104.32 million tonnes, which is lower by 1.16 million tonnes than its production of 105.48 million tonnes during 2014-15. Production of wheat estimated at 93.50 million tonnes is higher by 6.97 million tonnes than the production of 86.53 million tonnes of wheat during 2014-15.

Total production of coarse cereals is estimated at 37.94 million tonnes which is lower by 4.92 million tonnes as compared to their production of 42.86 million tonnes during 2014-15. Total pulses production of 16.47 million tonnes during 2015-16 is marginally lower than the previous years production of 17.15 million tonnes. With a decline of 2.207 million tonnes over the previous years productions total oilseeds production in the country during 2015-16 is estimated at 25.304 million tonnes.

Production of sugarcane estimated at 352.16 million tones, is lower by 10.17 million tonnes than its production during 2014-15. Production of Cotton estimated at 30.147 million bales (of 170 kg each) is also lower by 4.658 million bales than its production of 34.805 million bales during 2014-15.

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India Produces 2.158 Million Tones of Flowers During 2015-16
Aug 02,2016

Due to favourable agro-climatic conditions prevailing in the country, India produces 2.158 million tones of flowers during 2015-16. Flower crops are grown in almost all the States. The major flower growing States are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Haryana, Assam, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra. Flowers are being exported from India to about 150 countries in the world and Indias share in the world floriculture trade and exports is less than 1%.

The Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) provides assistance for development of horticultural crops including flowers. Floriculture farmers are provided assistance @ 40% of the cost ranging from Rs.40,000 per ha. to Rs.1.50 lakh per ha. limited to 2 ha per beneficiary. Besides, the technological support is provided by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, which has established a full-fledged Directorate of Floricultural Research at Pune to address the issues specific to floriculture research.

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Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation Being Promoted Under n++Per Drop More Cropn++ Component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana
Aug 02,2016

Drip and sprinkler irrigation systems are being promoted under n++Per Drop More Cropn++ component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) {erstwhile scheme on Micro Irrigation has been subsumed under PMKSY since 1st July, 2015}. Under the scheme, 15% additional assistance is provided to small and marginal farmers for installation of micro irrigation systems compared to other farmers for area covered under Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP), Desert Development Programme (DDP) and North Eastern and Himalayan States and 10% for other areas.

As per available information, during the last three years (2013-14 to 2015-16), 14.3 lakh hectare area have been covered under drip and sprinkler irrigation systems (Drip Irrigation- 9.04 lakh hectare, Sprinkler Irrigation- 5.26 lakh hectare) in the country including Punjab and Haryana

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Increase in Sugar Recovery From 10.01% in 2012-13 to 10.62% in 2015-16
Aug 02,2016

A number of sugarcane varieties, higher in cane yield and sugar content have been developed and are being cultivated in the country which is evident by increase in sugar recovery from 10.01% in sugar season of 2012-13 to 10.62% in 2015-16.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) through Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI), Coimbatore, Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow and All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Sugarcane are already conducting research to improve the quality of sugarcane by increasing cane yield and sucrose content.

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2.16 crore bogus and ineligible ration cards deleted
Aug 02,2016

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) has been notified which provides for all India coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population of the country for receiving highly subsidized foodgrains. Corresponding to above coverage, State/UT-wise coverage for receiving highly subsidized foodgrains was determined by the then Planning Commission. Total 81,34,91,135 number of beneficiaries under NFSA/ Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) are to be identified by respective State/UT Governments and State/UT wise number of beneficiaries are fixed.

Under End to End Computerisation Programme, all State/UT Governments interalia have been requested to digitize the data of beneficiaries and to review the lists of beneficiaries for the purpose of deletion of ineligible families and inclusion of eligible families. As per the information reported by State/UTs Government upto 15 July 2016, approximately 2.16 crore number of de-duplicated/ghost/ineligible/forged/ fake etc. ration cards have been deleted by the State/UT Governments during the years 2013 to 2016.

Under the said Programme, following steps have also been initiated to bring transparency in distribution of foodgrains and to check its diversion :

n++Online allocation

n++Supply Chain Management

n++Application of IT tools for functioning of PDS.

n++Online/Toll free Grievance Redressal Mechanism

He said that 25 States have started implementing Online allocation system, 15 States have started supply chain management module and all State/UTs have started Online/Toll free Grievance Redressal Mechanism System.

On the basis of allocation Orders issued by Deptt. of Food & Public Distribution, Food Corporation of India[FCI] issues foodgrains [Wheat/Rice/Coarse grains] from FCI Depots to State Government and Government Departments. After making advance payment to FCI, State Government lifts foodgrains from FCI Depots and ensures delivery of Foodgrains at Fair Price Shop through their agencies for distribution to beneficiaries. The procedure for payment by dealers is laid down by the State/UTs and further allocation orders within the State/UTs are issued by the respective State/UT Governments.

Shri C.R Chaudhary said that in order to ensure timely availability of foodgrains, Government of India has been issuing orders for allocation of foodgrains under TPDS/NFSA in advance and has directed the State/UT Governments to lift the foodgrains before the allocation month. Besides, Advisories are issued from time to time to State/UT Governments to lift the foodgrain from FCI Depots well within time limit to improve the offtake of the same so that the same can be made available for distribution to beneficiaries under TPDS.

Under End-to-End Computerization Programme, Online allocation system, Supply Chain Management module and Grievance Redressal Mechanism have to be implemented by all the State/UT Governments to remove procedural delay between payment and release of foodgrains. This will ensure transparency as anyone can check the status of allocation for delivery of foodgrains upto FPS.

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Modernisation of Ayurvedic Drugs Manufacturing Process
Aug 02,2016

Modernisation of Ayurvedic Drugs Manufacturing Process Drugs & Cosmetics Rules 1945 have provisions for manufacturing of Ayurvedic drugs under license in accordance with the quality standards prescribed in Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia and Good Manufacturing Practices provided in Schedule-T. Evidence of safety and effectiveness is required for obtaining license to manufacture Ayurvedic medicines and shelf-life or date of expiry of various dosage forms has been prescribed in Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945. Due to emerging trade and export opportunities for Ayurvedic medicines, voluntary quality certification systems in accordance with WHO-GMP guidelines and Quality Council of India scheme of AYUSH Premium Mark have been introduced. Augmentation of pharmacopoieal standards has also been taken up for improving the quality of Ayurvedic medicines.

A proposal to frame legislation for regulating education and profession of pharmacy of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy and set up a Central Council for this purpose is under consideration of the Government.

Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 has provisions under Section 17 that no person other than a qualified practitioner can practice Indian Medicine in any state and penal provision also given in the Act for any person, who acts in contravention of such provision. Recognized qualifications of Indian Systems of Medicine are mentioned in the second, third and fourth schedules of the Act. Since health is a state subject and register of practitioners is maintained by the State Government, it is the responsibility of the State Government to take steps for preventing unskilled and unqualified persons from practicing Indian Systems of Medicine.

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