Current Issue
Organiser Home
The Moving Finger Writes
Media Watch
Thinking Aloud
Kids Org.
News Round-up
Readers’ Forum:
Kerala Newsletter

Previous Issues
September 04, 2011

August 28, 2011
August 21, 2011
August 14, 2011
August 07, 2011

July 31, 2011
July 24, 2011
July 17, 2011
July 10, 2011
July 03, 2011

June 26, 2011
June 19, 2011
June 12, 2011
June 05, 2011

May 29, 2011
May 22, 2011
May 15, 2011
May 08, 2011
May 01, 2011

April 24, 2011
April 17, 2011
April 10, 2011
April 03, 2011

March 27, 2011
March 20, 2011
March 13, 2011
March 06, 2011

February 27, 2011
February 20, 2011
February 13, 2011
February 06, 2011

January 30, 2011
January 23, 2011
January 16, 2011
January 09, 2011
January 02, 2011

December 26, 2010
December 19, 2010
December 12, 2010
December 05, 2010
November 28, 2010
November 21, 2010
November 14, 2010
November 7, 2010

October 31, 2010
October 24, 2010
October 17, 2010
October 10, 2010
October 03, 2010

2010 Issues
2009 Issues
2008 Issues
2007 Issues
2006 Issues

About us
Contact us


September 17, 2006
Organiser Home
Money Matters
The Moving Finger Writes
Kids’ Org
Media Watch
Readers’ Forum
Film Review
India That is Bharat
Sangh Samachar

September 17, 2006

Page: 7/42

Home > 2006 Issues > September 17, 2006

Money Matters

Wheat import fails to hold price line

By Geeta

It is a tender time. Those who thought that the agencies like the State Trading Corporation and MMTC Ltd had not much role left after the collapse of Soviet Union and Rupee-Rouble Trade would not have realised that these government agencies would come handy for food imports for a country which till recently was proud of being self-sufficient in food. The UPA government is getting into one after the other mess, so far as the policy of food management is concerned. Thanks to utter neglect of the agriculture sector, the wheat production at 69.5 million tonnes was far below the target of 75.5 million tonnes for 2005-06. Wheat procurement dropped to 9.2 million tonnes, the lowest in the last seven years, thanks to the inability of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to pay a remunerative price to the farmers who found an alternative in the private traders like Cargill and ITC lifting their stocks at better price. When the FCI announced a bonus on the wheat price to retrieve the ground, it was too late in the day and the damage was done. The Agricultural Ministry, instead of keeping its cool, panicked and this led to further crisis. It announced big plans for imports of wheat sending the international prices high, which have now touched over 261 dollar per tonne instead of 170 dollar per tonne in February, 2006. Even if the procurement was low, a smart move would have been not to panic triggering the price rise. After all, the stocks procured by the private traders, instead of the FCI, would also have come out in the market where adequate supplies from these players would have had a dampening impact on prices. Instead, the government made bigtime announcements of going in for imports. Just a few months after the NDA government had demitted office in May 2004, 19 million tonnes of wheat was stored with the FCI. Another 15 million tonnes were procured in 2005 but the stocks were reduced to a paltry two million tonnes by January this year, partly on account of liberal exports. If Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar thinks that allowing private traders to import wheat at zero duty would help him tide over the crisis, he is mistaken. The STC, in any case, was allowed to import at zero duty and if the STC has failed to get adequate stocks, what gives Mr Pawar confidence that the traders would succeed? Besides, the prices in the international market have shot up because of ill-timed moves made by the UPA government. Meanwhile, speculators are making money in the future markets where they are betting on wheat, rice and other foodgrains and pulses. The future food security has been thrown to the future markets whose functioning, neither the farmer, nor the consumer understands. It is only the high-heeled trading investors who drive the markets to a level where farmers themselves are made to buy their foodstuff at exhorbitant prices. Atta, which was available at Rs eight to nine a kilo during NDA government, would soon sell at Rs 20 a kg. They are living up to their slogan?Congress ka haath; aam admi ke saath!

Previous Page Previous Page (6/42) - Next Page (8/42) Next Page

copyright© 2004 Bharat Prakashan(Delhi) Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Designed and Hosted by KSHEERAJA Web Solutions Pvt Ltd