M A I N   N E W S

Onion out of Essential Commodities Act
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
In a move to usher in second-generation economic reforms with a human face in the rural India, the government today deleted onion from the Essential Commodities Act, corpus for agri-marketing infrastructure and rural godowns.

The Cabinet deleted onion from the Essential Commodities Act as the country witnessed satisfactory production and availability of the product during the past five years. The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh found that the price trend of onion did not indicate any abnormality during the period.

An official release said that consequent upon the improvement of availability of various agricultural products, the government had already taken a stand to do away with the controls such as licensing of dealers, limits on stock and restriction on movement since such restrictions would hamper the growth of the agricultural sector and promotion of food-processing industries.

The government also agreed that facilitating free trade and movement of food grains would enable farmers to get best prices for their produce, achieve price stability and ensure availability of foodgrains in the deficit areas.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a Central sector scheme for developing and strengthening agricultural marketing infrastructure with a Central outlay of Rs 190 crore.

The scheme will help in setting up of new markets, strengthening and modernising the existing markets and upgrading the Agmark laboratories.

The scheme will be implemented in those states which amend their Agriculture Produce Marketing Regulation (APMR) Act, wherever required, to allow direct marketing and contract farming and permit setting up of markets in private and cooperative sectors, the Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting.

The salient features of the scheme include a credit-linked “back-ended” subsidy at 25 per cent of the capital cost of the project to be provided for general or commodity-specific infrastructure for marketing of agricultural commodities.

The CCEA also approved continuation of ongoing capital investment subsidy scheme for construction and renovation of rural godowns with a total outlay of Rs 445 crore and a Central outlay of Rs 115 crore beyond September 30,2004, during 2004-05 to 2006-07.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |