Need to work more to boost pulses output: Agriculture minister

This year, domestic pulses output is expected to reach 16.5-17 million tonnes. “But, still there will be a small gap and will probably be met through imports,” agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said

New Delhi: Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar today expressed concern over domestic production of pulses trailing behind the increasing demand, saying a lot of work need to be done to bridge the supply gap, reports PTI.

“Whether it is foodgrain or horticulture produce, we are doing quite well. Only there are two areas, where we have to work more. One is pulses production,” Mr Pawar told reporters on the sidelines of an event, here.

This year, domestic pulses output is expected to reach 16.5-17 million tonnes (MT). “But, still there will be a small gap and will probably be met through imports,” Mr Pawar said.

Till 2009-10, the country’s production of pulses remained at a level of 14 MT, against the annual demand of about 18 MT. However in 2010-11, the domestic output improved to 18.24 MT, he added.

Noting that there is no worry about wheat production getting affected due to yellow rust disease in some states like Punjab and Haryana, Mr Pawar said the disease is not that serious that will affect yields.

“I am not all worried about wheat production because the situation is good. Whatever the assessment we have made on production, there will be improvement. I don’t expect any problem,” he said.

According to latest estimates, wheat production is expected to be a record 88.31 MT in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June), as against 86.87 million tonnes in the previous year.

The minister said that the country’s total foodgrain production is expected to touch a record 250 MT this year due to policy initiatives adopted in last two years especially in eastern states.

With current level of production, Mr Pawar said, “there will not be any problem in meeting the requirement of National Food Security Bill”, which aims to provide subsidised foodgrain to 63.5% of the country’s population.

However, he stressed that there should be continuity in production of foodgrain at higher levels to sustain implementation of the proposed Food Bill.

“My worry is we have to keep continuation (in achieving higher foodgrain production). For sake of continuity, we have to provide more investment in agriculture,” he suggested adding that precautionary measures need to be taken during bad crop years.

On the sugar sector, Mr Pawar said that at current level of sugar production, exports are necessary to ensure good price to the farming community.

Sugar production in India, the world’s second biggest producer but the largest consumer, is pegged at 26 MT in the 2011-12 marketing year (October-September), as against the annual demand of 22 MT.


Orient Green Power 9M FY12 Total Income higher by 7.3% at Rs179 crore

“Enhanced capacities have resulted in increased depreciation and interest costs and this has impacted profitability:” OGPL MD Mr P Krishnakumar

Orient Green Power Company (OGPL), a leading independent renewable energy-based power generation company in India, has announced its unaudited financial results for the nine months ended 31 December 2011. For the nine-month period in FY12 the revenue from operations expanded from Rs166 crore (in the previous year) to Rs179 crore in the current year. EBITDA was at Rs88.4 crore,  and the nine month loss was at Rs23.3 crore.

There has been steady progress in biomass operations. It has added 32 MW incremental capacity in October-December 2011.

Commenting on the performance, Mr P Krishnakumar, managing director – OGPL said: “We are pleased to report topline growth in 9MFY12 despite significant challenges to individual projects as well as to the industry as a whole. Our gradual expansion in capacity has enabled us to increase total units generated on a y-on-y basis. Unplanned shutdowns due to change over from PPA to third party sale basis in southern plants and weather conditions have impacted quality of feedstock and potential power generation for biomass business. In Wind business, the grid availability issues and lower than expected wind availability has resulted in poor offtake of wind power generated. Enhanced capacities have resulted in increased depreciation and interest costs and this has impacted profitability as revenues from this new capacity will materialize over the coming quarters.”

The company’s performance during 9M FY12 has been impacted by poor wind availability during the FY12 wind season compared to FY11 wind season resulting in PLFs (plant load factors) below long term averages. Challenging weather conditions for its biomass plants in Rajasthan resulted in reduced PLFs as well as increase in per unit consumption of fuel.

As of 31 December 2011 OGPL had total operating capacity of 336 MW which includes 275 MW of wind power and 61 MW of biomass power. During the quarter, it added 22 MW of wind power capacity at Tamil Nadu and 10 MW biomass power plant at Hanumangarh with sale to Tata Power.

In the early afternoon, Orient Green Power Company was trading at around Rs14.85 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0.68% up from the previous close.


Alstom T&D India Q4 Revenues at Rs679 crore

Alstom T&D India’s profit after tax (PAT) was Rs30.2 crore in Q4 2011-12.

Alstom T&D India Ltd (formerly AREVA T&D India Ltd) announced its financial results on 12 February 2012 for the fourth quarter and twelve months to 31 December 2011. The company has changed its financial year, and accordingly, the current financial year/period would be for a period beginning 1 January 2011 to 31 March 2012.

For Q4, 2011, the sales revenue was Rs678.9 crore, and the profit after tax (PAT) was Rs30.2 crore. The order backlog was Rs4,335.6 crore

Despite tough competition, the company has achieved sales revenue of Rs3116.3 crore for the twelve months of 2011 and Profit after Tax of Rs117.1 crore for twelve months ending on 31 December 2011.

In Q4, 2011 the company achieved yet another milestone by successfully delivering the National Load Dispatch Centre for Bhutan Power Corporation, which manages the entire electricity network of Bhutan. With this, Alstom establishes undisputed leadership in the Energy Management System in the SAARC region having delivered similar systems to Bangladesh (manages 100% of Bangladesh's Grid Power Flow) and India (manages 70% of India's Grid Power flow).

Mr. Rathin Basu, managing director of Alstom T&D India Ltd said, “The market continues to be extremely tough due to postponement of investments as well as huge SEB losses, preventing investments in the power sector. Despite adverse market conditions, we have posted 11.8 % increase in order intake and 13% increase in order backlog (all time high) over annual 2010. Success came mostly through selected utilities, including power grid, small and medium size orders across Industry and Infrastructure segments of the market.”

In the early afternoon, Alstom T&D India was trading at around Rs204 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 2.31% up from the previous close.


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