The RBI said the current foodgrain stocks was ‘sufficient’ to meet the demand for various welfare schemes under the public distribution system (PDS), but pointed out that the requirement would increase with implementation of the proposed Food Security Act
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said growth in foodgrain production has been achieved on the back of increased productivity but asserted that the momentum needs to be sustained to ensure food security, reports PTI.
The central bank also pointed out the country needs to attain self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds.
“The increased agricultural production in recent years has been mainly due to improvement in productivity, while the area under cultivation has remained more or less constant for major crops.
“With a view to ensuring food security to the growing population, productivity gains need to be consolidated and sustained,” the RBI said in its Second Quarter Review for 2011-12.
The apex bank emphasised that the country’s needs to produce surplus food for long-term food security.
It said the current foodgrain stocks was ‘sufficient’ to meet the demand for various welfare schemes under the public distribution system (PDS), but pointed out that the requirement would increase with implementation of the proposed Food Security Act.
“...larger coverage and enhanced entitlement under the PDS, as envisaged under the proposed National Food Security Bill, may necessitate additional procurement. This would require creation of additional storage facilities,” it said.
Quoting the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) survey, the RBI said there has been a structural change in food consumption pattern towards protein-rich food items, both in rural and urban areas. Simultaneously, the share of cereals in food has declined.
“A situation when the demand for high value items such as meat and fish, eggs, fruit and vegetables is rising faster than supply, calls for an overhaul of the entire supply chain mechanism,” it said.
The development of vegetable clusters and terminal market complexes under the public-private partnership model is a significant step which holds immense potential for better post-harvest management and price discovery.
The apex bank said effective implementation of the model Act was necessary for developing a nation-wide agricultural market.
“The model Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act allows for contract farming and markets in private/cooperative sectors. So far, 17 states/union territories have amended their APMC Acts and the rest are in the process of doing so.”
The Union Cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday is likely to increase the home loan cap for availing 1% interest subsidy to Rs15 lakh from existing Rs10 lakh. It may also raise the ceiling on cost of house to Rs25 lakh from Rs20 lakh to avail this benefit
New Delhi: To give a boost to the housing sector, the government may increase the home loan cap for availing 1% interest subsidy to Rs15 lakh from existing Rs10 lakh, reports PTI.
The government may also raise the ceiling on cost of house to Rs25 lakh from Rs20 lakh to avail this benefit.
The Union Cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday may take decision on the matter, sources said.
Under a scheme introduced in 2009, home loan borrowers now get 1% interest subsidy on bank loans of up to Rs10 lakh, provided the cost of the house does not exceed Rs20 lakh.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in his Budget speech this year had announced liberalisation of the existing scheme of 1% interest subvention on housing loans of up to Rs15 lakh, where housing cost is not exceeding Rs25 lakh.
“To further stimulate the growth in housing sector, I am liberalising the existing scheme of interest subvention on 1% on housing loans by extending housing loan up to Rs15 lakh where the cost of the house does not exceed Rs25 lakh, from the present limit of Rs10 lakh and Rs20 lakh respectively,” Mr Mukherjee had said.
The Cabinet is also likely to approve increase in India’s contribution to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that would provide higher voting rights to the country.
The increase in contribution is part of ongoing quota reforms aimed at providing greater say to the emerging economies.
With the first half of the fiscal year already over and the government only able to mop up Rs1,143 crore through disinvestment in one company, there are apprehensions that the budgeted target of Rs40,000 crore would be missed
Mumbai: The government is likely to miss the targets for revenue collection and disinvestment for the current fiscal, pushing up the fiscal deficit budgeted at 4.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP), reports PTI quoting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
In its mid-year economic review, the RBI said growth in 2011-12 is likely to moderate below 8% —its earlier projection. “Given growth outlook, there is a risk of not meeting tax collection target,” RBI said.
The government has set a tax collection target of over Rs7 lakh crore for the current fiscal. However, with slowdown in economic activities, the growth rate is likely to decline below 8%, which will lower its revenue collection.
The RBI also said the government could miss the Rs40,000 crore disinvestment target, putting further pressure on the government finances.
“There is a possibility of the central government missing its disinvestment target, which would add to the pressures of achieving the budgeted fiscal deficit for 2011-12,” RBI said.
The government had projected that the fiscal deficit for the current fiscal would be 4.6% (Rs4.12 lakh crore).
The government was able to bring down the fiscal deficit to 4.7% in 2010-11 from 6.6% last fiscal, mainly on account of inflows from third generation (3G) spectrum and broadband auctions.
“Current indications are that the central government's deficit targets for 2011-12 will be breached,” RBI said.
With the first half of the fiscal year already over and the government only able to mop up Rs1,143 crore through disinvestment in one company, there are apprehensions that the budgeted target of Rs40,000 crore would be missed.
“The fiscal position during the course of the year will be shaped by the eventual growth outcome and its impact on tax revenues as well as the government’s commitment towards controlling expenditure,” the RBI said.
It said with oil prices remaining at elevated levels, the subsidy burden of the government is expected to be much higher than budgeted. The subsidy on petroleum products, including LPG, kerosene and domestic cooking gas, for the current fiscal is budgeted at Rs23,640 crore. “Hence, the process of fiscal consolidation is likely to suffer a setback.”