The Indian government’s proposal to lower the moisture content limit for wheat and paddy has left farmers worried. After discussions between the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution and the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which procures produce from farmers at a minimum support price (MSP), it was proposed the limit be reduced to 12% from 14% for wheat and 16% from 17% for paddy. Farmers fear with this move, the government is trying to move away from the MSP regime.
Currently, farmers are taking a price cut while selling wheat with moisture above 12%. The new government limit, however, would mean FCI will not procure this wheat at all, even with a price cut. This puts farmers in a tough spot as they struggle to keep the produce dry amidst unseasonal rainfall and lack of sheltered storage spaces. The ministry is awaiting comments from its state agricultural departments before taking a decision.
Environmentalists irked as Centre decides to rate states on faster green clearances
The Indian government will now incentivise states by rating how effecient their environment assessment authorities are in giving out green clearances. This is part of the government’s efforts to boost its ‘ease of doing business’ goal. Environmentalists, however, demanded the government immediately withdraw this decision as they believe it would make environmental compliance a mere formality. The government had previously cut down the average time taken for environmental clearance from 105 days to 75 days.
Rapid groundwater depletion causing parts of Delhi to sink: Study
Parts of Delhi seem to be sinking. A new study claimed the alarming rate of groundwater depletion is leading to a phenomenon known as land subsidence. Researchers said around 100 sqkm in the National Capital Region (NCR) is at high risk of ground displacement. The largest portion of this land (12.5sqkm) is in southwest Delhi’s Kapashera, which is just 800m away from the airport, according to satellite data.