Wheat procurement by government agencies this year will fall to about 25 million tonne from 38 million tonne last year due aggressive buying by private traders, food minister K V Thomas said on Friday. Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Thomas said wheat procurement in the year beginning April 2013 will be 33% lower than last year.
Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of food grains, and state agencies had procured 37.35 million tonne wheat last year. Although wheat marketing year runs from April to March, the entire procurement exercise generally gets over by June. "This season production has been good but procurement will come down from 38 million tonne (last year) to 25 million tonne" as private players are aggressively buying foodgrain, he said. Private traders are buying wheat at a rate higher than government's R1,350 a quintal Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Global tender plan to sell assets of Kolar gold mines
THE Centre plans to float a global tender for selling assets of now closed Bharat Gold Mines (BGML), which owns famous Kolar gold mines in Karnataka. "The government proposes to float an open global tender inviting bids for purchase of assets of BGML as per terms approved by government," mines minister Dinsha Patel said in a reply to the Lok Sabha. It, however, did not give any timeline and other details related to the proposed tender. Patel also said that Geological Survey of India has not carried out any feasibility study of reviving the Kolar gold mines and the government does not have any
plan to check the feasibility, profitability and financial aspects before restarting the operations. Last month, the Supreme Court had approved government's plan of floating global tender, so that the Kolar gold mines can be restarted. It was closed in 2001 due to mounting losses
and depleting reserves.
Sugar prices stable after decontrol of sector
Sugar prices have remained stable after decontrol of the sector, food minister K V Thomas told Rajya Sabha on Friday. In