Economy
Cane farmers to get direct subsidy for arrears
Concerned over arrears to cane growers from sugar factories amounting to more than Rs.21,000 crore (over $3 billion) in the last season, the government on Wednesday fixed a subsidy of Rs.4.50 per quintal crushed, which will be payable directly to farmers.
 
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which also decided to give priority to settlments that pertain to the previous years. 
 
"To further ensure timely payment of cane dues in the current sugar season, the Government has decided to provide a production subsidy @ of Rs. 4.50 per quintal of cane crushed to offset cane cost," said a note isued after the meeting.
 
The dole will be paid directly on behalf of mills and adjusted against the fair and remunerative prices payable in the previous years. "Subsequent balance if any will be credited to the mills' account. Priority will be given to settling cane dues arrears of the previous years."
 
Reacting to the move, the Indian Sugar Mills' Association (ISMA) said the government's decision will out to a dole of around Rs.1,000 crore as per the estimated cane crushing during 2015-16 sugar season.
 
"This decision is significant as it means the government is no longer shying away from owning up the fair and remunerative prices it fixes for sugarcane, by directly contributing for a part of the cane price, instead of continuously burdening the millers," the association said.
 
"It will reduce industry's liabilities towards cane to that extent, reducing a part of its losses," it said, adding: that at current low sugar prices, the losses will be over Rs.1,100 crore and if the situation does not improve farmers may seek further help from the Government.
 
Wednesday's move is among several decisions over the past year to help cane farmers in distress, including steps to improve the liquidity of sugar mills to facilitate the payment of dues, apart from increasing the export incentive on raw sugar. 
 
The mills were also extended soft loans worth Rs.4,047 crore to ensure farmers are paid the dues expeditiously. "Furthermore, the government has provided one-year moratorium on this loan, and will bear the interest cost to the extent of Rs.600 crore for the said period," the note said.
 
The government has has notified mill-wise export quota, laid down norms for supplying enthnol, a byproduct, to fuel retailers and extended performance subsidy to mills that exported at least 80 percent of ther targets pre-notified trgets.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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No more 'Dr' for Punjab officers
Taking serious note of officers from the agriculture, horticulture and water and soil conservation departments calling themselves 'Doctor', the Punjab government has made it clear that officers who do not have the requisite qualification will not be allowed to use the prefix Dr to their names.
 
"The Punjab government has taken strong notice of some officers prefixing the word 'Doctor' with their names without possessing the appropriate qualification or degree," a spokesman said here on Wednesday.
 
He said the practice was prevalent mostly in the department of agriculture and horticulture.
 
"Only a person holding a Ph.D. degree or a degree in medicine is authorised to use the word 'Doctor'. Others are not allowed to use the same," said the spokesman, quoting government instructions.
 
He said the government has issued strict instructions to the heads of the agriculture, horticulture and water and soil conservation departments to stop this "illegal practice" immediately.
 
Disciplinary action would be initiated against officers using the prefix 'Doctor' without holding the appropriate degree.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Unitech firms were ineligible for 2G licences: CBI
The CBI on Wednesday told a special court here that Unitech group's firms were ineligible and made false representations before the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) while seeking 2G spectrum licences.
 
Advancing final arguments in the 2G case, special public prosecutor Anand Grover told Special Judge O.P. Saini that the company knowingly and fraudulently misrepresented facts in the application forms.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation chargesheet alleged that Unitech Ltd. managing director Sanjay Chandra, who is an accused in the case, conspired with others to get the 2G licences.
 
Chandra and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt. Ltd. have denied the allegations.
 
The final arguments in the case would continue on Thursday.
 
Former telecom minister A. Raja, DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and others are facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
 
According to the CBI, Raja was biased in allocating 2G mobile airwaves and operating licences to telecom firms, causing huge loss to the exchequer.
 
The court framed charges against 14 accused and three companies under various provisions of Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act on October 22, 2011.
 
All accused, including Raja, are out on bail.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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