31 July : The Centre will provide a Rs 1,000-crore subsidy on diesel to paddy farmers for irrigation during the on-going Kharif season that would provide relief to growers in times of erratic monsoon, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said.
“One major decision which the government has taken in yesterday’s Cabinet meeting is to extend a budgetary provision of Rs 1,000 crore for the support of the (paddy) farmers who are using diesel pumps,” Pawar said on the sidelines of a function at New Delhi on Friday.
Terming problems on the paddy fronts two-fold, the minister admitted that the coverage of the crop has slumped, while productivity, too, is expected to be impacted due to the late monsoon.
“Firstly, area (under paddy) is less. Secondly, we are expecting less productivity because of this gap (in monsoon arrival),” he said.
Govt extends duty free raw sugar import till March next year
Government has extended duty free import sops till March next year while Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday informed Rajya Sabha that Sugar production is likely to come down this season due to uneven monsoon.
Government extends duty free raw sugar import till March next year.
The government today allowed duty-free import of raw sugar without export obligation for further eight months to augment availability of the sweetener in the domestic market.
The Centre also gave permission to private trade to import refined sugar at zero-duty, which was so far restricted to public sector trading firms STC, MMTC and PEC.
However, the 10 lakh tonnes quantitative restriction remains on the import.
Announcing the decisions in the Rajya Sabha, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said duty-free import of white sugar will be allowed till 30th November, 2009, after the incentive expires on 1st August.
The raw sugar import at zero duty under open general licence (OGL), which was valid till 1st August, 2009, will now be allowed till 31st March, 2010, he said in a statement.
Under the OGL scheme, mills do not have the obligation of exporting the sugar at a later date.
“With these decisions, domestic availability of sugar will get augmented and sugar prices in the country will remain reasonable,” Pawar said.