As the stock market indices breached psychological levels and the rupee touched a nine-month low after a statement by the U S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram sought to ally fears saying there was “no need for any kind of nervousness.” His statement came after the benchmark BSE Sensex slipped below the 20,000 level and the NSE Nifty below the 6,000-level during intra-day trade. The rupee dropped below the 56-level on Thursday..
India, which has broken all barriers in rice exports in 2012 in terms of volume, could well retain its spot as the world’s top seller of the grain this year, backed by ample stocks, a trade friendly export policy and quality offers. The country has come a full circle, shipping out a record 10.3 million tonnes of rice in 2012, leaving behind traditional sellers like Thailand and Vietnam.
The government’s ambitious but long delayed legislation on ensuring food security for the country’s poor may not be cleared even in the monsoon session of parliament, a key member of the Planning Commission has said. The Congress Party is keen to push through the flagship scheme, which could well be one of the key programmes to woo voters in the general elections due by 2014.
The South West Monsoon is likely to hit the Kerala coast by June 3 this year, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The monsoon normally hits the Kerala coast on June 1 and covers the entire country over the next few weeks. However, last year, the monsoon had touched the Kerala coast four days after the June 1 onset forecast by the IMD.
INDIA’S FOODGRAINS PRODUCTION THIS YEAR SEEN HIGHER
India’s foodgrain production this year is likely to be 255.36 million tonnes, up from 250.14 million tonnes estimated in February, the agriculture ministry said. Production of rice is likely to be 104.22 million tonnes, while wheat production is likely to be 93.62 million tonnes.
In INDIA, NO CONNECTION BETWEEN GOOD MONSOON AND FOOD PRICES
In India, the traditional monsoon-helps-reduce-food-prices argument is nearly dead. No more do good rains mean cheap food. A dramatic shift in our eating habits coupled with ample stocks of the once-staple rice and wheat has ensured that the usual excitement or depression over the monsoon forecasts is mostly irrelevant.