India's ethanol production is likely to decline by 16% to 2,590 million litres in the current sugar season on account an lower output of the sweetener. The country is estimated to have produced 3,070 million litres of alcohol in 2011-12 sugar season (October-September), food minister K V Thomas said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha. According to industry sources, the estimated quantity of alcohol produced during 2010-11 and 2011-12 has been about 2,630 million litres and 3,070 million litres, respectively and the estimated production of alcohol during 2012-13 sugar season is likely to be about 2,590 million litres, he added.
CIL to develop mines through outsourcing
State-owned Coal India is in the process of finalising document for developing 27 mines, with 136 MTPA capacity, through outsourcing to increase output. CIL is in the process of finalising documents for development of 27 identified projects during the 12th five year plan," minister of state for coal Pratik Prakashbapu Patil said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha. Of the identified mines, 12 are underground and 15 are open-cast mines, the minister said. Patil said that besides taking up production of coal, CIL has also outsourced some of its operations to increase total coal production to meet the present demand.
Pilot scheme in 6 UTs for food subsidy
The Centre proposes to introduce a pilot scheme in six Union territories for direct transfer of food subsidy to the beneficiaries in order to check diversion of foodgrains under the PDS and test feasibility of the new system. Food minister K V Thomas said that the public distribution system would not be dismantled and under the proposed scheme, the foodgrains would be issued to the ration card holders at the economic cost and food subsidy would be credited to the bank account. The department proposes to introduce a pilot scheme in six union territories under Targeted Public Distribution System,Thomas said.
Concern over paddy non-procurement
Taking note of concerns over non-procurement of paddy in parts of north India, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar asked the Centre to initiate urgent steps to ameliorate the problems of the farmers. It is a serious issue, particularly the plight of farmers and paddy-growers. We don't want them to suffer. Her observation came after members from Samajwadi Party,Left, BJP and TMC expressed concern over the plight of paddy-growers in UP, Bihar, MP, Chhattisgarh and Bengal affected by non-procurement of their produce by FCI.
Indias GFSI rank may not be justified
India's low ranking in the Global Food Security Index "may not be justified" as it does not reflect the country's good food security position, the Centre said on Monday. India ranks 66th among 105 countries in the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2012, brought out by the Economist Intelligence Unit. While the US has been ranked first, Congo has been placed last at 105th in the report. The report has not provided data on indicators used in the index," food minister K V Thomas said.
Missions to take up ban on Indian poultry
Countries including UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have imposed ban on import of poultry products from India due to bird flu and the Centre has asked embassies to take up the issue with the authorities to lift the restriction. "As per the information, some countries like Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Iraq, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia have imposed ban on import of poultry products from India due to bird flu," minister of state for commerce and Industry D Purandeswari said.