November 29, 2012

GPS in PDS Vehicles

Installation of Global Positioning System (GPS) sets had been taken up for implementation in 11th Five Year Plan on pilot basis in States of Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh for tracking the movement of vehicles transporting Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) commodities. This information was given by the Minister of State (IC) for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Prof. K.V.Thomas in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. 

The Minister said that State Government of Tamil Nadu, who have implemented the scheme in two districts, have reported that it has helped in the quantities of food grains allotted from Food Corporation of India (FCI) to the intended godowns reaching without diversion; created moral fear among those involved in transportation of PDS items; enabled tracking the movement of vehicles carrying PDS items at short notice and avoided delays in transportation. State Government of Chhattisgarh has intimated that after installation of GPS sets in trucks transporting TPDS commodities, they are reaching their destination properly and no irregularities have since been found. 

Prof. Thomas said that in view of the feedback received from these State Governments, it has been decided to extend this scheme to all the States/UTs. This Department had taken up a pilot scheme on Computerization of TPDS Operations to be implemented in 3 districts of 4 States i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Delhi. As reported by these States, digitization of databases and computerization of supply- chain management have been completed in Delhi and Chhattisgarh. In Andhra Pradesh, entire ration card database has been digitized and supply-chain computerization is in progress. In the State of Assam, work of digitization of databases is being undertaken. Another scheme for Smart Card based delivery of essential commodities is being undertaken on pilot basis in Chandigarh UT and Haryana. In the State of Haryana, the project has been implemented in 4 blocks whereas in Chandigarh UT, it has been completed in 13 Fair Price Shops (FPS). These pilot schemes are proposed to be subsumed under the Plan Scheme on End-to-end Computerization of TPDS Operations, which is being implemented in all States/UTs. 

100% FDI Permitted for Cold Storage Facilities

In order to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in cold storage sector, Government has permitted 100% FDI under automatic route as per the extant FDI policy. This policy mandates minimum investment of US$ 100 million with at least 50% of total FDI being invested in `back-end infrastructure` within three years of the first tranche of FDI, where `back-end infrastructure` will include capital expenditure on all activities, excluding that on front-end units. 

The Government is implementing following schemes which have components for increasing cold storage capacity aimed at checking wastage of horticulture and agriculture produce: 

1. National Horticulture Mission.

2. Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States.

3. National Horticulture Board.

4. Scheme of Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

5. Scheme of Agricultural Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.

6. National Cooperative Development Corporation. 
Further, Government has included capital investment in creation of modern storage capacity including cold chains and post-harvest storage as an eligible sector for viability gap funding under "support to public private partnership in Infrastructure scheme". 

All India Coordinated Research Project on Post-harvest Technology (ICAR) conducted a study at National level and printed the report in September, 2012. As per the study, estimated monetary value of harvest, post-harvest losses of horticultural, agricultural and livestock produce, in the country was Rs. 44143 crore at price and production value for the year 2007 - 08. 

This information was given by Shri Tariq Anwar, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on 27th November 2012. 

November 28, 2012

Sugar Productions Sufficient to Meet Requirement

India's domestic sugar production in the current sugar season 2012-13 is estimated to be sufficient to meet the estimated domestic consumption requirement, according to a latest press release from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. As such, large surplus production of sugar in this season is not expected at present. Changes in export policy would be made, if considered appropriate depending upon the production, availability and international as well as domestic prices of sugar.  As regards revision of import duty, no decision has been taken by the Government so far.  The production, demand, import and export of sugar during each of last three sugar seasons and the estimated figures for 2012-13 are as under;

As per the data published by Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Kolkata export of sugar from India during last three sugar seasons have been mainly to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Dijibouti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Somalia & UAE etc and import of sugar in India was mainly from Brazil, Thailand, Myanmar, South Africa, Argentina and UAE etc. There had been hardly any export/import of sugar during current sugar season 2012-13 so far. No incentive/assistance was provided to the exporters during the said period.

November 16, 2012

Veg oil imports cross 10 million tonne-mark in 2011-12

India's vegetable oil imports surged by 17 per cent crossing 10 million tonnes mark in the 2011-12 marketing year that ended last month on strong domestic demand as per industry body Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA).The country had imported a total of 8.7 million tonnes of vegetable oil comprising both edible and non-edible oils in the 2010-11 marketing year (November-October). The total import of edible oil during November 2011 to October 2012 is reported at 99.81 lakh tonnes, doubled in six years.

According to Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), "Local consumption increased by up to 8,00,000 tonnes due to a rise in per capita consumption and population growth. Lower price of vegetable oils also boosted consumption during the year." 

The overall import of vegetableoil has increased by 15.2 lakh tonnes (17.5%) during oil year 2011-12(Nov.-Oct) over the previous year. The main reasons for increase in import of vegetable oil are:
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i) The overall production of veg. oils was down by about 7.0 lakh tonnes due to reduced oilseed crop during 2011-12,
ii) Local consumption increased by about 7.5 to 8.0 lakh tonnes due to increase in per capita consumption (3%) and population growth (1.76%). Also lower price of veg. oils boost the consumption of veg. oils during the year.
iii) Closing stock of imported veg. oils as on 31st October increased by 2.60 lakh tonnes to 15.70 lakh tonnes.
iv) Malaysia and Indonesia pushed the palm oil export into India during the year to reduce their excessive stock burden.
v) Due to inverted export duty structure by Indonesia, import of RBD Palmolein substantially increased during the year.
vi) The overall consumption increased by about 12.5 lakh tonnes, leading to higher import during the year

Current stock of edible oils as on 1st November, 2012 at various ports is estimated at 920,000 tonnes (CPO 600,000 tonnes, RBD Palmolein 95,000 tonnes, Degummed Soybean Oil 125,000 tonnes, Crude Sunflower Oil 85,000 tonnes and Canola Rape Oil 15,000 tonnes) and about 650,000 tonnes in pipelines. Closing stock increased by 2.60 lakh tonnes at the end of the year and reported at 15.70 lakh tonnes.

During Oil Year 2011-12(Nov-Oct) Palm Oil import increased to 76.69 lakh tonnes compared to 65.47 lakh tonnes during the last year and the same time soft oil import also increased to 23.12 lakh tonnes, consisting of 10.79 lakh tonnes of soybean oil, 11.35 lakh tonnes of sunflower oil, 0.91 lakh tonnes of rape oil and 0.07 lakh tonnes of other soft oils compared to 18.24 lakh tonnes during the same period of last year.

November 7, 2012

Export of oil meals between April - October 2012 down by 30%

The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India has just compiled the export data for export of oil meals for the month of October 2012. The export of oil meals during October 2012 is reported at 121,919 tonnes compared to 354,698 tonnes in October 2011 i.e. down by 66%. The total export of oil meals during April to October 2012 has reduced and reported at 1,724,984 tonnes compared to 2,451,499 tonnes during the same period of last year i.e. down by 30%. High price of soybean seed resulted into lesser crushing and availability of soybean meal for local as well as for the export. Lack of buying by Iran and disparity in export of soybean meal due to high price in local market resulted into steep fall in its exports.

South Korea – Highest Importer of Oil meals from India:
Oil meal import by South Korea from India during April to Oct., 2012 is reported at 492,286 tonnes compared to 378,746 tonnes last year consisting of 55,202 tonnes of soybean meal, castor meal of 203,722 tonnes and 233,362 tonnes of rapeseed meal. Vietnam another major market, imported of 228,488 tonnes compared to 314,727 tonnes last year consisting of 47,685 tonnes of soybean meal, 27,889 tonnes of rapeseed meal, 1,412 tonnes of groundnut meal, 502 tonnes of castor meal and entire quantity of 151,000 tonnes of rice bran extraction. Japan imported 106,923 tonnes compared to 615,377 tonnes of last year consisting of 106,545 tonnes of soybean meal, 279 tonnes of rapeseed meal and 99 tonnes of castor meal.

Thailand imported of 121,914 tonnes compared to 161,238 tonnes, consisting 61,334 tonnes of soybean meal, 60,491 tonnes of rapeseed meal and small quantity of 89 tonnes of Castor meal. Indonesia imported 104,064 tonnes compared to 128,591 tonnes consisting of 74,813 tonnes of rapeseed meal and 29,251 tonnes of soybean meal. Iran imported of 456,687 tonnes compared to 175,962 tonnes, consisting 440,687 tonnes of soybean meal, and 16,000 tonnes of rapeseed meal. Europe and others have imported 31,326 tonnes compared to 49,833 tonnes of last year.
Port-wise Export: April-Oct., 2012
The export from Kandla is reported at 1,173,079 tonnes (68%), followed by Mumbai including JNPT handled 189,838 tonnes (11%), Mundra handled 113,189 tonnes (7%),Bedi handled 79,290 tonnes (5%) ,Kolkata handled 151,000 tonnes (9%) and Vizag handled 10,243 tonnes (1%).