States do not want the onions for, govt worried about waste, they asked

States do not want the onions for, govt worried about waste, they asked

New Delhi: India’s states, which had asked the central government to import onions because of the paucity of national stocks and rising costs, have withdrawn either partially or completely from their devotion.

The reason behind the states’ drawback is that the delay in the arrival of imported onions, and the ready availability of cheaper local types.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs estimates that until 3 January, from the total 6,812 metric tonnes (MT) of imported onions which have arrived in India, states have picked up only 1,015 MT, while the remainder lie in warehouses leased by the government at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT).

The value of the rest of the onions is about Rs 27 crore, given that the initial tender rate to import onion from Egypt was $654 per MT.

Addressing a press conference Tuesday, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that major states that have withdrawn from their demands are Maharashtra, Assam, Haryana, Karnataka and Odisha, that haven’t picked up any onions. They had originally demanded 10,000 MT, 3,000 MT, 3,480 MT, 250 MT and 100 MT, respectively.

Higher prices a factor

A senior ministry official said the higher costs of the imported onions are certainly proving to be a problem.

‘These states have cited higher prices of the imported onions, which vary from Rs 49-58/kg, since they include an added transportation price,’ a senior ministry official said.

The official added that states have stated the imported onions are far too expensive in comparison to the onion prices in the domestic market, today that late kharif and early rabi onions have already started arriving.

Another ministry official said that local mandis for example Lasalgaon in Maharashtra and Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh are selling blossoms for retail prices of Rs 30-40/ kg.

‘This makes it hard for us to sell the imported onions to these states at higher costs, with an additional burden of difference in size and flavor of imported onions,’ the second official said.

Additional incentive

Paswan said at the press conference that there was a delay in the import process, and up to now, only 6,812 MT of the 1.2 lakh MT initially sanctioned had reached the country.

The import process has been finalised for 41,950 MT, out of which a tender for 5,000 MT was cancelled last week, bringing the total import order down to 36,950 MT.

‘Earlier, demand from the nations for the imported onion stood around 33,139 MT, which has been reduced to 14,309 MT following the vast majority of the states have withdrawn citing pricing issues related to imported onions,’ said Avinash K. Srivastava, consumer affairs secretary.

Srivastava added that today the government has offered states the additional incentive of covering the cost of transport, so that they can pick up the onions in accordance with their earlier commitments.

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Shivakumar, and many others in a money laundering case

Shivakumar, and many others in a money laundering case

According to a report in the New Indian Express, Shivakumar was in Delhi this past weekend to press for his candidature as the new Congress state unit chief.

He decided to meet the senior party leaders as he confronted challenges to his candidature, not only from inside, but also outside the party. Within the party, this challenge was introduced by senior leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah who earlier controlled politics in the state through his close confidante Gundu Rao. Even when he became chief minister in 2013, Shivakumar was not inducted by Siddaramaiah into his government for a six months.

Although Shivakumar recently met with Siddaramaiah to push his case and gain his support for the article, the latter appears to be more keen on backing the candidature of former minister and Lingayat leader M.B. Patil for this post. Patil is also regarded as a Siddaramaiah loyalist. SC Dismisses Plea Against Bail into Shivakumar; Asks Govt to Read Dissenting Sabarimala Verdict Other titles doing the rounds for the post include those of former minister Ramalinga Reddy, former mayor Manjunath Reddy, and five-time MLA from Yamakanmaradi, Satish Jarkiholi.

In such a scenario, Shivakumar was headed to New Delhi as it was learnt that he might have to change his plans due to impending action. It said the Congress leader may be contested in connection with which the agency in September 2018 registered a case of money laundering around his financial dealings in 2013-14.

It had been claimed by the department which a huge amount of cash that was unaccounted transported through’ hawala’ channels on a regular basis. Meanwhile, the development around the brand new summons comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court adjourning the hearing of a plea by Anjaneya Hanumanthaiah, co-accused of Shivakumar, and many others in a money laundering case, to quash 120 B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) slapped by ED. The hearing was adjourned for fourteen days as another petition by petitioner was pending at another bench of the same court.

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Kerala suffered catastrophic floods this year

Kerala suffered catastrophic floods this year

New Delhi: Though Kerala suffered catastrophic floods this year, the nation was left out in the cold by the Centre from its list of states for which Rs 5,908.56 crore in flood aid has been released. While presenting a comprehensive report on the floods as aid, Kerala had raised a need for Rs 2,101 crore in September 2019. But while its claim has been discount, money has been paid to seven nations, including five ruled by BJP due to floods. According to a media report, the states for which the aid was announced include Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Karnataka (all-BJP ruled), as also Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The decision on the aid, according to a home ministry statement, was taken at a meeting. Referring to the demand the report stated it had been that the state wrote to the Centre seeking Rs 2,101 crore in. It had also presented a detailed report. The Centre sent a team to the country to assess the situation.

However, the requirement of the state hasn’t yet been considered and no explanation has been given on the reasons for not acknowledging it. The report also said that after the devastating floods in 2018 also, Kerala had received inadequate aid in the Centre leading to accusations of political vendetta by the BJP against the Left-ruled state government. Is Climate Change Making Floods an Annual Affair in Kerala? The report said the high level committee which chose on the additional central support, that would go to the states from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), marked different levels for each of the seven nations.

The highest outgo will be of Rs 1,869.85 crore to Karnataka, followed by Rs 1,749.73 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 956.93 crore to Maharashtra, Rs 616.63 will be awarded to Assam, Rs 367.17 crore to Uttar Pradesh, Rs 284.93 crore to Himachal Pradesh and Rs 63.32 to Tripura. These state cloudburst during the 2019 southwest monsoon or had suffered on account of flooding or landslides.

As is visible from the data, a majority of this aid has gone to countries ruled by the BJP, either singularly or in alliance, with Karnataka being the biggest beneficiary. Lately, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state, Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa had repeatedly sought aid for the nation saying it suffered both because of floods and drought.

‘During heavy rains and floods in the state, 600-700 villages were flooded, around three lakh houses were destroyed, roads and bridges were damaged. We incurred a loss of over Rs 30,000 crore. I had requested him three-four times.

However, the aid hasn’t come yet. I ask the Prime Minister to discharge these grants,’ Yediyurappa was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah had in a series of tweets criticised Modi for his’delayed’ trip to the state, which he said had suffered due to several natural calamities. He also tweeted:’You did not see Karnataka when it was devastated by floods.

You didn’t see Ktaka when our farmers cried for help. But all of a sudden, when you need to start your political propaganda, you remember innocent ppl of Ktaka. Wah Modi Wah!!’ He also stated that the state hasn’t received sufficient flood relief aid.

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