National News Analysis

22 May 2024, 6:43 AM

IFFCO’s Organic Joint Venture, SIFCO (Sikkim IFFCO Organics Ltd.) has started its construction work at Rangpo, Sikkim yesterday. The work will be completed by October 2021 and it will start production afterwards. The two Integrated Food Processing Units are being laid with a total construction cost of around Rs 50 Crores.  The Foundation Stone for these plants were laid last year by Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Singh Tamang in presence of Union Agriculture Minister, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar. It will not only give a boost to organic farming in Sikkim but also to organic farmers elsewhere in the North-Eastern States. The global pandemic had delayed the project by few months. SIFCO will soon start trading fresh Ginger through its agencies in Germany, Italy and other European countries. The entire range of SIFCO products will be 100% organic certified and hence non-toxic in nature. This will promote sustainable agriculture and promote Green Himalayan Economy. The construction work started with a formal traditional Bhumi Pujan which was held at the construction site in Rangpo. Shri L B Dass, Speaker of Sikkim Legislative Assembly;  Agriculture Minister, Sikkim, Shri Lok Nath Sharma and Sh. Manish Gupta, Managing Director, Sikkim IFFCO Organics and other senior officials were present at the occasion along with the officials of IFFCO, State of Sikkim and Sikkim IFFCO Organics Limited. These Plants will be a great step forward in doubling farmers’ income as produce will be directly procured from the Farmers which is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi by 2022. Sikkim is already recognized as a 100% organic state. The aim of the JV is to provide a safer food supply chain to the consumers in India and elsewhere in the world. The JV will be initially processing ginger, turmeric, large cardamom and buckwheat. These crops are the major produce of Sikkim state with huge export potential. SIFCO will market these produce to different markets of country and world. In this regard two MoUs have already been signed; one with Blossoms Biodynamics, USA for utilizing their marketing and distribution in the North American markets and other with Centar Dr Rudolfa Steinera, Croatia for marketing its products in Croatia and the European Union. *********  Foreign Direct Investment Inflow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a major driver of economic growth and an important source of non-debt finance for the economic development of India. It has been the endeavor of the Government to put in place an enabling and investor friendly FDI policy. The intent all this while has been to make the FDI policy more investor friendly and remove the policy bottlenecks that have been hindering the investment inflows into the country. The steps taken in this direction during the last six years have borne fruit as is evident from the ever increasing volumes of FDI inflows being received into the country. Continuing on the path of FDI liberalization and simplification, Government has carried out FDI reforms across various sectors. Measures taken by the Government on the fronts of FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased FDI inflows into the country. The following trends in India’s Foreign Direct Investment are an endorsement of its status as a preferred investment destination amongst global investors. A. for the period of last 6 years (2014-15 to 2019-20) Total FDI inflow grew by 55%, i.e. from US$ 231.37 billion in 2008-14 to US$ 358.29 billion in 2014-20. FDI equity inflow also increased by 57% from US$ 160.46 billion during 2008-14 to US$ 252.42 billion (2014-20).   B. – Financial Year 2020-21 (April to August, 2020) During April to August, 2020, total FDI inflow of US$ 35.73 billion is received. It is the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 13% higher as compared to first five months of 2019-20 (US$ 31.60 billion). FDI equity inflow received during F.Y. 2020-21 (April to August, 2020) is US$ 27.10 billion. It is also the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 16% more compared to first five months of 2019-20 (US$ 23.35 billion). **** MSP operation during Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21 Paddy procurement in current season exceeds by 22.43% than in the previous season States/UTs making arrangements for commencement of procurement from the date as decided by them in respect of Kharif Pulses and Oilseeds Government continues to procure Kharif 2020-21 crops at its MSP from farmers as per its existing MSP Schemes, as was done in previous seasons. Paddy procurement for Kharif 2020-21 is progressing at a fast pace in the procuring States/UTs ofPunjab, Haryana, UP, TN, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, J&K and Kerala with purchase of over 98.19 Lac MT of paddy upto 19.10.2020 from 8.54 lac farmers valuing Rs 18539.86 crore at MSP rate of Rs 18880 per MT. Paddy Procurement during corresponding period of KMS 2019-20 was 80.20 LMT.Therefore procurement in current season exceeds by 22.43% than the previous season. Further, based on the proposal from the States, approval was accorded for procurement of 42.46 LMT of Pulse and Oilseeds of Kharif Marketing Season 2020 for the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh under Price Support Scheme(PSS). Further, sanction for procurement of 1.23 LMT of Copra (the perennial crop) for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala was also given. For other States/UTs, approval will also be accorded on receipt of proposals for procurement of Pulses, Oilseeds and Copra under PSS so that procurement of FAQ grade of these crops can be made at notified MSP for the year 2020-21 directly from the registered farmers, if the market rate goes below MSP during the notified harvesting period in the respective States/UTs by the Central Nodal Agencies through State nominated procuring agencies. Upto 19.10.2020, the Government through its Nodal Agencies has procured 806.11 MT of Moong and Urad having MSP value of Rs. 5.80 Crores benefitting 779 farmers in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana. Similarly, 5089 MT of copra (the perennial crop) having MSP value of Rs. 52.40 crore has been procured benefitting 3961 farmers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In respect of Copra and Urad, rates are ruling above MSP in most of the major producing States. The respective State/UTs Governments are making necessary arrangements for commencement of procurement from the date as decided by the respective States based on the arrivals in respect of Kharif Pulses and Oilseeds. Cotton procurement operations under MSP are going on smoothly in Northern States viz. Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan. Till 19.10.2020, a quantity of 200512 cotton bales valuing Rs.56590.51 lakh has been procured from 40196 farmers.    ******** Evidence-based Impact of National Deworming Day in India 14 States report reduction in worm prevalence; 9 show substantial reduction Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH), also known as parasitic intestinal worm infection, is a significant public health concern mostly in low resource settings. These are known to have detrimental effects on children’s physical growth and well being and can cause anemia and under-nutrition. Regular deworming as advised by the World Health Organization eliminates worm infestation among children and adolescents living in areas with high STH burden, thereby contributing to achieve better nutrition and health. Since its launch in 2015, the National Deworming Day (NDD), a flagship program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,, is implemented as a biannual single day programme implemented through the platforms of schools and anganwadis. Albendazole tablet, approved by World Health Organization (WHO), is used for treatment of intestinal worms in children and adolescents as part of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programmes globally. In the last round of deworming earlier this year in the country (which was halted due to the COVID pandemic), 11 crore children and adolescents were administered Albendazole tablet across 25 States/UTs. As per WHO Report on STH published in 2012, in India there were an estimated 64% children in the age group (1-14 years) at risk of STH. The risk was estimated based on the hygiene and sanitation practices and limited STH prevalence data at that point of time. To assess the exact burden of STH in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare appointed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the nodal agency to coordinate and conduct nationwide baseline STH mapping. In collaboration with partners and government agencies, NCDC completed the baseline STH mapping across the country by the end of 2016. The data showed varied prevalence ranging from 12.5 % in Madhya Pradesh to 85% in Tamil Nadu. To evaluate the impact of the consistently implemented high coverage NDD programme, the Health Ministry recently initiated follow-up prevalence surveys led by NCDC and partners. They were guided by the High Level Scientific Committee (HLSC) appointed by the Ministry. As on date, the follow-up surveys are completed in 14 States. All 14 States have shown reduction in the follow up survey compared to the baseline prevalence survey and the State of Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have shown substantial reduction in worm prevalence in the STH follow up prevalence survey. For example, the State of Chhattisgarh has successfully conducted 10 rounds of NDD as on date, and the drop in prevalence has been significant from 74.6 in 2016 to 13.9 in 2018. Similarly, Sikkim, with 9 rounds, has seen reduction from 80.4 in 2015 to 50.9 in 2019; Andhra Pradesh has, however, seen limited reduction from 36 in 2016 to 34.3 in 2019 with a total of 9 rounds. Rajasthan, the State that implemented an annual round only due to low baseline of 21.1 in 2013 has seen significant reduction to the level of less than 1% in 2019 as per the survey. While further analysis is being led by the HLSC and the experts at the NCDC, the recommendations of the WHO decision tree for STH control with regard to treatment frequency is being carefully considered, to align with the program factors and ability to sustain gains that have been made so far. Implementation of NDD is led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Education and technical assistance from WHO and the technical partners. This Health Ministry is committed to continuing essential health services while managing the COVID-19 pandemic. As schools and Anganwadis remain closed, frontline health workers are trained to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines while administering Albendazole tablets to children and adolescents (1-19 years) during home visits or through staggered Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day (VHSND) based model between August and October 2020. The revised approach is applicable during COVID-19 to maintain continuity of deworming efforts in the country while minimizing risks related to the pandemic. ***** New Cases fall below 50,000 for the first time after nearly 3 months Active Cases less than 10% of Total Cases Further slide in Active Cases; now below 7.5 lakh India has leaped across several significant milestones in its fight against COVID. The new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours have fallen below 50,000 (46,790) for the first time in nearly three months. The new cases were 47,703 on 28th July. With a high number of COVID patients recovering every day and the sustained fall in the mortality rate, India’s steady trend of registering dipping active cases continues. In another achievement, the percentage active cases have fallen below 10%. The total positive cases of the country today are less than 7.5 lakh (7,48,538) and  comprise merely 9.85% of the total cases. . This is the result of collaborative, focussed and effective action by States/UTs under the Centre’s strategy of comprehensive and high countrywide testing, prompt and effective surveillance and tracking, quick hospitalization and effective adherence of the Standard Treatment Protocol issued by the Union Government. This success also owes to the selfless service and dedication of doctors, paramedics, frontline workers and all other COVID-19 warriors across all parts of the country. The slide in active cases in supplemented by an exponential rise in recoveries. The total recovered cases have crossed 67 lakhs (67,33,328). The difference between active cases and recovered cases is consistently increasing and stands at 59,84,790 today. 69,720 patients have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours. The national Recovery Rate has further grown to 88.63%. 78% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 States/UTs . Maharashtra continues to lead with more than 15,000 single day recoveries followed by Karnataka with more than 8,000 recoveries. 75% of the new confirmed cases are from 10 States and UTs. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala contribute more than 5,000 to the new confirmed cases. 587 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. Of these, nearly 81% are concentrated in ten States/UTs. The deaths are below 600 for second consecutive day. Maharashtra has reported the maximum single day deaths (125 deaths).   India is the only country with the highest recoveries and continues to have one of the lowest fatality rates globally. Today it stands at 1.52%. These have in tandem resulted in consistent slide in the active cases.   **** Jal Jeevan Mission to alleviate decades of drudgery and pain caused to women due to abysmal water supply atMajhguwan Khurd in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh     Abiding by the Jal Jeevan Mission, the community of Majhguwan Khurd in Bijawar Block of Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh has drafted the Village Action Plan with the intent to remove decades of drudgery and pain which women were subjected to owing to abysmal water situation in the area. Central to the Jal Jeevan Missionis community participation with bottom-up planning approach, empowerment of local community& Gram Panchayats and enabling community contribution. This instillsa sense of ownership among the local community, create an environment of trust, and bring in transparency leading to better implementation & long-term sustainability of water supply sector in the country. MajhguwanKhurd has a population of 1,652 people with farming as themain occupation.The village is 100% dependent on ground water for all its needs. The ground water source for drinking water depletes from December to February as large amount of water is utilized for Wheat cultivation. The groundwater level dips to the lowest point in June in the peak summer. Over exploitation of available ground water creates crisis during critical period. The Village Action Plan has been formed based on the survey was carried out in the Gram Panchayat to map the existing water sources, availability of hand pumps and defunct tap connections. Only 20% of the households in the village had piped water connectionand 8 hand pumps are used to meet the water requirements in the village.The village action plan listed out the defunct tap connections and allotted funds for retrofitting of the piped water supply based on the survey conducted. The community decided to construct an ordinary tubewell, install a pump set, construct a boundary wall to protect the overhead tank and provisioned for an electric supply. The Public Health and Engineering Department officials provided technical details to the local community.The Gram Panchayat members were informed that under the Jal Jeevan Mission, provision will be made for providing 55lpcd water. Grey Water Management was also planned by the villagers as it was understood that 60-70% of total water supplied to every household would get converted to grey water which can be managed through individual soak pits. For houses which did not have space to build soak pits, community soak pits were proposed under the Plan. Village Action Plan incorporated the need of cattle trough, common washing and bathing complex. After the 3-month trial run undertaken by the department, the management of the water supply structure shall be handed over to the Gram Panchayat/ Village Water & Sanitation Committee who will be responsible for O&M and collecting user charges from the community as decided by Gram Sabha. The Gram Sabha in its meeting passed a resolution that people of MajhguwanKhurd will take the responsibility of planning, implementation,operation and maintenance of the infrastructure created under the mission. It was agreed that every member of the village shall respect the water body developed under the scheme and shall protect it. No one from the village should pollute the water body and must pledge to manage individual grey water generated once tap water reaches every household and save drinking water. ***** All-India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Agricultural and Rural Labourers – September, 2020 The All-India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Agricultural Labourers and Rural Labourers (Base: 1986-87=100) for the month of September, 2020 increased by 11 points and 10 points to stand at 1037 (One thousand and thirty seven) and 1043 (One thousand and forty three) points respectively. The major contribution towards the rise in general index of Agricultural Labourers and Rural Labourers came from food, with (+) 9.20 points and (+) 8.95 points respectively mainly due to rise in prices of arhar dal, masur dal, ground nut oil, mustard oil,  vegetables and fruits etc. The rise in index varied from State to State. In case of Agricultural Labourers, it recorded an increase of 1 to 23 points in 20 States. Tamil Nadu State with 1234 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh State with 816 points stood at the bottom. In case of Rural Labourers, it recorded an increase of 2 to 20 points in 20 States. Tamil Nadu State with 1218 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh State with 863 points stood at the bottom. Amongst states, the maximum increase in the Consumer Price Index Numbers for Agricultural Labourers was experienced by Himachal Pradesh State (+23 points) and for Rural Labourers, it was experienced by Jammu & Kashmir State (+20 points) mainly due to rise in the prices of wheat-atta, pulses, mustard-oil, milk, onion, chillies-dry, garlic, ginger, barber charges, bus fare, vegetables and fruits etc. Point to point rate of inflation based on the CPI-AL and CPI-RL decreased to 6.25% and 6.10% in September, 2020 from 6.32% and 6.28% respectively in August, 2020. Inflation based on food index of CPI-AL and CPI-RL is at (+) 7.65% & (+) 7.61% respectively in September, 2020. All-India Consumer Price Index Number (General & Group-wise) Group Agricultural Labourers Rural  Labourers   August,2020 Sept.,2020 August,2020 Sept.,2020 General Index 1026 1037 1033 1043 Food 986 999 991 1004 Pan, Supari,  etc. 1688 1694 1700 1706 Fuel & Light 1087 1090 1082 1085 Clothing, Bedding  &Footwear 1009 1012 1033 1033 Miscellaneous 1035 1043 1040 1047       Speaking about the latest index, Shri Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment said, “The easing of inflation successively for eight months will definitely improve income of millions of workers in rural areas by putting lesser burden on their daily budgetary requirement. Shri DPS Negi, Director General of Labour Bureau while releasing the index said “Appreciated the efforts put in by the officers in collecting, compiling and disseminating price index despite of the unfavorable situation prevailing in the country owing to COVID-19 pandemic.” The CPI – AL and RL for the month of October, 2020 will be released on 20th November, 2020.   ***** Union Minister of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar unveils preparation framework for Block and District development plans This framework will promote inclusive development at the block and district levels by focusing on locally available resources, local people’s aspirations and priority areas The preparation framework for Block and District development plans was unveiled today through video conference by the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj and Food Processing Industries Shri Narendra Singh Tomar. This framework is a step-by-step guide for Block and District Panchayats to formulate plans and will assist planners, concerned stakeholders at appropriate level. Shri Tomar expressed hope that this framework will definitely promote inclusive development at the block and district levels by focusing on locally available resources, local people’s aspirations and priority areas. The framework will serve as an important tool for all resource persons, stakeholders associated with decentralized planning in intermediate / block and district panchayats and will play an important role in transforming rural India by providing accelerated, participatory and inclusive growth. State/UT representatives including Principal Secretary, Secretary, Director, Panchayati Raj Departments of all states / UTs, Directors of SIRDs and representatives of NIRDPR participated in the videoconference. The 73rd amendment to the Constitution of India formalized the three-tier Panchayati Raj system, (i) Gram Panchayat at village level, (ii) intermediate Panchayat at Block 7a / taluka / mandapal level and (iii) District Panchayat at district level.The grants of the 15th Finance Commission are also being distributed to Intermediate and District Panchayats from 2020-21. A total of Rs 60750 crore is to be distributed to the Panchayats in the year 2020-21. Out of which Rs 45774.20 crore is for Gram Panchayats, Rs 8750.95 crore for intermediate Panchayats and Rs 6224.85 crore for District Panchayats. These institutions need to be assisted to in formulation of comprehensive Block Development and District Development Plans for rural areas. Keeping this in mind, a detailed framework for planning for intermediate / block and district Panchayats has been prepared by a committee constituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, headed by Dr. Bala Prasad Former Special Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj. The committee consists of representatives of the respective associate ministries, representatives of NIRDPR, SIRD, KILA, subject matter experts, representatives of state governments, elected representatives of district and block panchayats. While preparing this framework, the committee discussed various aspects of the scheme at the upper levels of the Panchayats and interacted extensively with the stakeholders involved in the process.Detailed analysis of the process of preparation of plans, role of state governments and other agencies, convergence at various levels and scope of collective action will not only help in understanding between the agencies involved, but also the conditions of human planning enabling the lives of the people concerned also to improve. ***** Shri Nitin Gadkari lays Foundation Stone of country’s first Multi-modal Logistic Park in Assam The Rs 693.97 crore park will provide direct air, road, rail and waterways connectivity The Minister hopes that this project will provide direct or indirect employment to nearly 20 lakh youth in the State Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for country’s first Multi-modal Logistic Park at Jogighopa in Assam today. The Rs 693.97 crore park will provide direct air, road, rail and waterways connectivity to the people. It will be developed under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana of the Government of India. Chief Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal presided over the virtual function, which was attended by Union Ministers of State Dr Jitendra Singh, Gen (Retd) Dr V K Singh and Shri Rameshwar Teli; Ministers from the Assam State, Members of Parliaments, MLAs and senior officers from the Centre and the State were also present on the occasion. VIPs at the dais for laying of foundation stone for country’s first Multi-modal Logistic Park in Assam today. ___________________________________________________________________________ YouTube Link: Access video clip: An MoU was signed between NHIDCL and Ashoka paper mills, Govt of Assam on the occasion for sharing of land and logistics in Jogighopa. MoU signing between NHIDCL and Ashoka Paper Mills, Govt of Assam. __________________________________________________________________________________________   Speaking on the occasion, Shri Nitin Gadkari said that his Ministry envisages developing 35 Multi-modal Logistic Parks (MMLPs) in the country, of which work on preparing DPR and feasibility report is underway. He said, SPVs will be formed for all these MMLPs, and professionally qualified CEOs will be appointed for each separately. The first such MMLP is being made by NHIDCL in Jogighopa of Assam, which will be connected to road, rail, air and waterways. This is being developed in 317-acre land along the Brahmaputra. Shri Gadkari said, the first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed by 2023. He informed that works worth Rs 280 crore have already been awarded, including Rs 171 crore for road construction, Rs 87 crore for erecting the structure, and Rs 23 crore for rail lines. The work will begin next month, he said. The Minister expressed hope that this project will provide direct or indirect employment to nearly 20 lakh youth in the State. The Minister added that the distance of 154 km between Jogighopa and Guwahati will be covered by making a 4-lane road on this stretch, a 3-km rail line will connect Jogighopa station to the MMLP, another 3-km rail link will connect it to the IWT, and the road to newly developed Rupsi airport will be upgraded to 4-lanes for easier connectivity. He said, the MMLP will have all the facilities like, warehouse, railway siding, cold storage, custom clearance house, yard facility, workshops, petrol pumps, truck parking, administrative building, boarding lodging, eating joints, water treatment plant, etc. Shri Gadkari informed that the initial report and master plan is ready for the 346 acre MMLP with JNPT in Wardha Dry port area of Nagpur. Feasibility reports are being prepared for the Bangalore MMLP, Sangrur warehouse complex in Punjab, Surat, Mumbai, Indore, Patna, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and Coimbatore. DPR is being made for MMLP near Chennai port, and studies have begun for MMLP in Pune and Ludhiana. Other 22 MMLPs are proposed in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Kandla, Vadodara, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jullundur, Bhatinda, Hissar, Ambala, Kota, Jaipur, Jagatsinghpur, Sundarnagar. Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Nashik, Panaji, Bhopal, Raipur, and Jammu. Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari addressing the event for laying of foundation stone for country’s first Multi-modal Logistic Park in Assam today. The Minister further informed that his Ministry has plans for National Highway works worth Rs 80,000 crore in Assam. He said, NH works for 575 km worth Rs. 3,545 crore are going to be completed within this financial year. NH works of nearly Rs 15,000 crore will be awarded by next year, while DPRs will be completed for works of Rs 21,000 crore for the State. He said, under the CRIF scheme, 203 km NH length at a cost of Rs 610 crore has been approved for 2020-21. The Minister also announced clearing of a number of Road proposals from different MPs and MLAs for the State. Shri Gadkari also informed that a total of 12 accident black spots have been identified on National Highways in Assam, of which three have been temporarily improved. He said, all the black spots will be eradicated by the year 2023.

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IFFCO’s Organic JV with Sikkim Government, SIFCO begins construction of Integrated Food Processing Units at Rangpo, SikkimConstruction of the Plants to be completed by October 2021, production to commence with processing organic ginger, turmeric, large cardamom and buckwheat

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