Quick view: Decision on slashing NPK fertiliser subsidy soon

Updated: Feb 28 2012, 09:04am hrs
The government is expected to take a decision soon on slashing subsidy that the government gives on phosphatic and potassic fertilisers, for the next fiscal. Recently, an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) had decided to reduce the subsidy on nitrogen (N), phosphate (P) and potassium (K) in the wake of strengthening rupee and bearish global prices. The department of fertiliser has moved a Cabinet note and the meeting can take place anytime soon, sources said. The IMC, headed by senior officials of fertiliser, finance and agriculture ministries, has fixed the rate of N at R24 per kg, P at R21.8 per kg and K at R24 per kg, sources added. These prices will be made effective from April 1 after the Cabinet approval, sources said. For the current

fiscal, prices of N, P and K have been fixed at R27.15 per kg, R32.33 per kg and R26.76 per kg, respectively, under the Nutrient Based Subsidy scheme.

GoM meet on ONGC share sale cancelled

A meeting of ministers scheduled for Monday to discuss a sale of shares in state-run Oil and Natural Gas (ONGC) has been cancelled, a finance ministry source said. The meeting has been cancelled because finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is head of the ministerial panel discussing the sale, was travelling and unable to attend, said the source, who did not wish to be named. No new date has been set for the meeting, the source said. The ministerial panel approved a plan earlier this month to sell some of stake in ONGC through an auction but did not set any timeframe.

Need for cooperation with US counterpart: CAG

The Comptroller General of India (CAG) has stressed upon the need for cooperation between India and the US in his meeting with his American counterpart. The comptroller general of the US, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Gene Dodaro, called on the CAG of India, Vinod Rai, in New Delhi. They discussed issues of common interest and stressed the need for mutual cooperation which would be for mutual benefit, a statement said on Monday. In particular, Dodaro was appreciative of the Indian CAGs efforts to train its own officers and the infrastructure set up for facilitating the same, it said. The professionalism of officers of the Indian audit and accounts service and mentioned that they are rated very high globally, Dodaro said.

Rlys, Chhattisgarh sign pact for 3 rail corridors

The railways on Monday signed a pact with the Chhattisgarh government for the development of three rail corridors totalling 452 kms at a cost of R4500 crore. The three corridors, which will ferry passenger and freight, would be developed in seven economically backward but coal-rich districts of the state. A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed by Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal and Chhattisgarh chief secretary Sunil Kumar in the presence of railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and chief minister Raman Singh. The three corridors would be developed on the public-private-partnership model over the next five years, Singh said. The state govt will acquire the land for the project while the railways will lay the line, the chief minister said, adding that a special purpose vehicle would be set up to undertake the project.

Engagement with India will help EU: Sweden

Sweden on Monday said that increasing economic engagement with India will help Europe overcome the sovereign debt crisis. India is one of those markets that would provide opportunity for Europe to grow, Swedens ambassador to India Lars-Olof-Lindgren said at a Ficci function in New Delhi. He said that the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between India and EU would benefit the European economy. Since June 2007, India and European Union (EU) are negotiating a comprehensive free trade pact, aimed at liberalising trade in goods and services. The pact would also help in boosting investments. Speaking on the occasion, former Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson too said that the FTA would help the bloc to overcome the crisis.

HC notice to Centre, MCI on contempt plea

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued contempt notices to the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) for their failure to comply with its earlier order to begin a three-year Bachelor of Rural Health Care (BRHC) course for practising medicine in primary health centres in rural areas. Justice Vipin Sanghi issued notices on a plea to begin contempt of court proceedings against them and sought their replies within four weeks. In a petition filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, petitioner Meenakshi Gautam said rural people have no worthwhile access to the medical help. The court had given the MCI two months to finalise the curriculum and syllabus of the three-and-half-year-long Primary Healthcare Practitioner Course, approved by the Centre.