Economy
Monsoon deficiency: PM directs weekly monitoring

 

PM Manmohan Singh directed all departments and ministries to co-ordinate efforts with state governments to meet any eventuality and monitor the situation on a weekly basis

New Delhi: As the Monsoon rain recorded 22% deficiency, a concerned Union government has swung into action, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directing all departments and ministries to coordinate with states to meet any eventuality by monitoring the situation on a weekly basis, reports PTI.
 
The Central government has prepared extensive plans to deal with the deficiency in the Monsoon rainfall in some parts of the country and is in full readiness to address any situation that may arise due to any rainfall anomalies, an official statement said here today.
 
It said the Prime Minister has been apprised of the situation and he has directed all departments and ministries to co-ordinate efforts with state governments to meet any eventuality and monitor the situation on a weekly basis.
 
According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the cumulative rainfall for the period from 1st June to 15th July is 22% less than the long period average (LPA).
 
The statement said the rainfall deficiency which existed at the end of June has lessened somewhat, but the intensity and spread of rainfall over the next week or so needs to be watched carefully, especially in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan
 
"The progress of the Monsoon so far has not allayed earlier concerns," it said.
 
The IMD's second stage forecast on 22nd June predicted rainfall over the whole Monsoon season to be normal at 96% of LPA with model error of plus or minus of 4%, but this is now reportedly likely to be around the lower end of the range.
 
As on 15th July, Monsoon has covered all parts of the country.
 
The statement said the government has already chalked out contingency plans and these will be rolled out in the areas which continue to receive low rainfall.
 
An inter-ministerial group under Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation is reviewing the situation on a weekly basis and holding video conference with the state governments, it said.
 
While the prices of wheat and rice are stable, the prices of sugar, pulses and vegetable are showing an upward trend, the government noted.
 
In this context, it said a proposal for increase in subsidy for supply of pulses through Public Distribution System to BPL families is being brought before Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
 
Sufficient funds to the tune of Rs4,524 crore are currently available under National Disaster Relief Fund.
 
Suitable advisories regarding fodder availability have been issued in the states by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.
 
These include preservation of crop residue that may be used as fodder in the nest season, the statement said, adding sufficient funds for this purpose are available with the State Governments under various schemes.
 
All options for increasing fodder availability under Joint Forest Management Programme will be explored by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
 
The need for according the highest priority to drinking water was stressed. The Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation will henceforth be monitoring the status of the affected habitations on a weekly basis, rather than on a fortnightly basis as is presently being done.

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Idea Cellular Q1 net profit up 32% to Rs234.1 crore

Idea said its revenue performance of last two quarters has slowed down on sequential quarterly basis to 2.5% growth due to grim market battle for supremacy


New Delhi: Mobile operator Idea Cellular on Monday said its consolidated net profit has increased by 32% to Rs234.1 crore for the first quarter ended June 2012, reports PTI.
 
This is against a net profit of Rs177.3 crore in the same period last year, Idea Cellular said in a statement.
 
The company's total consolidated revenue stood at Rs5,503.7 crore, up 21.7% from Rs4,520.7 crore in the April-June 2011 quarter. The numbers also includes financials of Indus Towers business, in which Idea Cellular holds 16% stake.
 
Due to introduction of 'Telecom Consumer Protection Regulation' by TRAI with effect from 22 March 2012 and "grim market battle for supremacy", Idea said its revenue performance of last two quarters has slowed down on sequential quarterly basis to 2.5% growth.
 
"This primarily due to slide in 'average realisation per minute' (ARPM) by 2.3% to 41.2 paise in comparison to 42.2 paise in Q4 FY12, suggesting the industry growth is likely to be muted in the first half of this financial year," it said.
 
Idea's net profit stood at Rs239 crore, while revenues stood at Rs5,369.7 crore in January-March 2012 quarter. It said the long term business outlook for the company remains positive.
 
Idea, with its 117 million subscribers, saw minutes' usage growing at 5.3%, generating 131 billion minutes compared to 124 billion minutes in January-March 2012 quarter.
 
During the quarter, the company had a forex loss of Rs24.5 crore compared to a forex gain of Rs13.5 crore in Q4 FY12 on account of currency depreciation.
 
"The company is confident to overcome the current uncertain regulatory phase, emerge stronger, consolidate its position in the telecom voice market and participate aggressively in the evolving wireless broadband business," it added.

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