Call Centres for Refrigerated Van Drivers

Call Centres for Refrigerated Van Drivers

Government has set up a Toll-Free number (1800 267 6223), operated through a 24x7x365 Reefer Vehicle Call-in-centre (RVC). Salient features of the Reefer Vehicle Call-in-center are as follows:

(i) Bhagidaari in governance through toll free access for refrigerated transporters for providing information of roadside delays, if any.

(ii) Complaints received are centrally monitored by National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD), for analyzing the type and frequency of problems faced, and to address transit delays, as appropriate

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Sh.Mohanbhai Kundaria in Lok Sabha today.


Laboratories for Testing Agro Products

Organizations like Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI), an Attached Office of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under Department of Consumer Affairs prescribe grading standards/quality certification for agricultural produce in the country. DMI, under the provisions of Agricultural Produce (Grading & Marking) Act, 1937, has so far formulated 105 Grading and Marking Rules covering 213 agricultural commodities. Further, Organic Agricultural Produce Grading and Marking (Amendment) Rules, 2011 prescribe standards for certification of organic products under Agmark.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has finalized standards for Bajra, maize, ragi, jowar and barley. The standards specify grades as well as quality parameters.

For export purpose Agriculture & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has prescribed compliance with Agmark grading standards in respect of table grapes, pomegranates and okra and exporters obtain certification from Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) through approved commercial labs.

The commodities which are certified under Agmark are Ajowain, Besan, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Chillies, Clove, Compounded Asafoetida, Coriander, Creamery Butter, Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek, Ghee, Ground Spices, Honey, Isubgol Husk, Kinnow, Large Cardamom, Maida, Mustard Seed, Oil Cake, Poppy Seed, Pulses, Rice, Roasted Bengal Gram, Safron, Seedless Tamarind, Suji, Table Eggs, Table Potato, Tamarind Seeds & Powder, Tapioca Sago, Turmeric, Vegetable Oils, Wheat Atta, Wheat Porridge for domestic trade and Creamery Butter, Ghee, Grapes, pomegranate, Onion and Tobacco for export. Further, no organic product has been certified so far under the Organic Agricultural Produce Grading and Marking (Amendment) Rules, 2011.

There is one Central Agmark Laboratory at Nagpur and eleven Regional Agmark Laboratories located at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, Amritsar, Kochi, Kanpur, Guntur, Chennai, Bhopal, Rajkot which are engaged in monitoring Agmark certification and research analysis. Besides, this Agmark certification is done by 1410 approved primary grading laboratories of the packers, State Governments, Cooperatives and Commercial establishments in the country.

These grading laboratories are equipped for testing of commodities for certification under Agmark as per quality parameters prescribed in the concerned Commodity Grading and Marking Rules.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Sh.Mohanbhai Kundaria in Lok Sabha today.


Post Harvest Management and Market Development

To ensure adequate supply of fruits and vegetables in domestic market., Government has taken various measures to incentivize diversification towards high value products by way of promotion of post-harvest management and market development and processing. These are:-

i. Under the Scheme of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) and Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure sub-scheme of Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM), assistance on capital cost is provided for development of integrated post-harvest management and marketing infrastructure including establishment of cold storage, cold chain logistics, Integrated Value Chains

(IVCs) and for reefer vans. Further, under the MIDH scheme, retail outlets, rural primary markets, wholesale markets and terminal market complexes are also covered.

ii For reducing post harvest losses of horticultural & non-horticultural produce, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing a Central Sector Scheme of Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure since 2008-09 under which assistance is provided for setting up of Integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure facilities without any break from the farm gate to the consumer.

iii The Government has been advocating agri market reforms by way of deregulation of marketing of fruits and vegetables outside the market yard to facilitate the emergence of alternative marketing channels like direct purchase of fruits and vegetables from farmers at their farm gate, private wholesale market and Kisan Mandis which will also promote private investment in development of post-harvest and marketing infrastructure.

iv. For better post-harvest management ICAR institutions and Krishi Vigyan Kendras also impart training to farmers in relevant skills and exposure to best practices.

In order to address the logistic gap between production clusters and marketing centres, the Government, in addition to the scheme mentioned above, is also taking various other measures including advocacy of reforms in State marketing laws to facilitate development of collection centres/ purchase centres in private and cooperative sector near the production cluster. Further, to provide backward and forward linkages, Government is promoting formation of Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) which will allow the benefits of aggregation both to farmers and to the processors/ consumers /wholesalers.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Sh.Mohanbhai Kundaria in Lok Sabha today.


Price Stabilization Fund

The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation has approved the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) as a Central Sector Scheme, with a corpus of Rs.500 crores, to support market interventions for price control of perishable agri-horticultural commodities during 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. PSF will be used to advance interest free loan to State Governments/Union Territories and Central agencies to support their working capital and other expenses on procurement and distribution interventions for such commodities. Initially the fund is proposed to be used for onion and potato only.

The Price Stabilization Fund will be managed centrally by a Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee (PSFMC) which will approve all proposals from State Governments and Central Agencies. The PSF will be maintained in a Central Corpus Fund account to be opened by Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC), which will act as Fund Manager. Funds from this Central Corpus will be released in two streams, one to the State Governments/UTs as a one time advance to each State/UT based on its first proposal and the other to the Central Agencies. The Central Corpus Fund has already been established by SFAC in 2014-15.

The one time advance to the States/UTs based on their first proposal along with matching funds from the State/UT will form a revolving fund, which can then be used for all future market interventions to control prices of onions and potatoes based on approvals by State level Committee set up explicitly for this purpose. In case of North Eastern States, the State level corpus will comprise of 75% funds from Centre and 25% from the State. While the advance is returnable, the Central Government will share 50% of losses (75% in case of NE states), if any, at the time of settlement of the advance on 31st March, 2017. The Central Government likewise also intends to share the profits, if any, in the same ratio. The States could also request Central Agencies to undertake such operations on their behalf to be supported out of the State corpus. Additionally, the Centre can also requisition the Central Agencies like SFAC, NAFED, etc. to undertake price control operations for onion and potato.

Procurement of these commodities will be undertaken directly from farmers or farmers’ organizations at farm gate/mandi and made available at a more reasonable price to the consumers.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Sh.Mohanbhai Kundaria in Lok Sabha today.


PM condoles the passing away of Shri JB Patnaik

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has condoled the passing away of Shri JB Patnaik.

"Shri JB Patnaik's contribution to Odisha's development will always be remembered. Saddened on his demise. Condolences to his family. Shri Patnaik will be remembered as a pillar of Odisha politics, a popular leader always connected with people's views and aspirations," the Prime Minister said.


PM bows to Sri Basavanna on Basava Jayanthi

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has said that he bows to Sri Basavanna on Basava Jayanthi.

"On Basava Jayanthi I bow to Sri Basavanna, who devoted his life to service and social reform. His ideals have left a deep impact on society," the Prime Minister said.


Steps to contain prices of essential food items

Recent steps taken by the Government to improve the availability and to contain prices of essential food items:

Minimum Export Price (MEP) fixed for potatoes at USD 450 per M.T. w.e.f. 26.06.2014 (now withdrawn with improved availability and fall in prices w.e.f. 20.2.2015) and of onions at USD 250 per M.T. w.e.f 7.04.2015 respectively.

States have been advised to allow free movement of fruits and vegetables by delisting them from the APMC Act.

A Plan Scheme titled Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) with a corpus of Rs.500 crores has been approved for implementation aimed at regulating price volatility of agricultural and horticultural commodities both when there is price rise or vice-versa through procurement of farm produce, maintenance of buffer stocks and regulated release into the market.

States have been advised to exempt levy of market fee on fruits and vegetables and to allow establishment of “KisanMandis”/ Farmers markets where producers and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) can directly market their produce to wholesalers, organized retailers and ordinary consumers. Such alternative marketing channels promoted to reduce intermediaries and to contain marketing costs, are intended to benefit both farmers and consumers.

Government is also encouraging production of horticultural crops through a Centrally Sponsored scheme, namely Mission for integrated Development of Horticulture w.e.f 2014-15.

Authorized States/UTs to impose stock limits in respect of onion and potato for a period of one year with effect from 3rd July, 2014 under the Essential Commodities Act.

Government has approved the release of additional five million tonnes of Rice to BPL & APL families in states pending implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Advisory to State Governments issued to take action against hoarding & black marketing and effectively enforce the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 & the Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.

Authorized States/UTs to impose stock limits from time to time in the case of select essential commodities such as pulses, edible oil, and edible oilseeds for a period up to 30.9.2015.

Based on interaction with the State Governments/UTs on 4th July, 2014, a decision has been taken to amend the Essential Commodities Act to make hoarding and black marketing a non bailable offence and increase the period of detention to one year from existing six months.

The Government has approved for the current year i.e. 2014-15 Open Market Sale of ten million tonnes of wheat in the domestic market.

This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


Comprehensive changes in the Consumer Protection Act Proposed

The Government proposes to bring about comprehensive changes in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, including a product liability provision which will make manufacturers liable for sub-standard goods and services. Approval of the Cabinet has been sought on the proposed Bill, whereafter the same will be introduced in Parliament. This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


Apprehension of Suspicious Boat in North Arabian Sea by IN and ICG

In a closely coordinated operation undertaken by the IN and ICG, a boat carrying a large quantity of narcotics was apprehended in international waters, off the coast of Gujarat on 20 Apr 15. The operation also resulted in the apprehension of eight Pakistani nationals manning the boat.

The operation was launched on 18 Apr 15, based on intelligence inputs, and was conducted in close coordination by Headquarters Western Naval Command and the Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (North West). Multiple units from the Navy and Coast Guard were deployed for the operation, which included IN ships Nirghat, Kondul along with ICGS Sangram. The search was augmented by extensive aerial searches undertaken by Naval and Coast Guard aircraft, including Dorniers, IL38 and P8Is. In a display of seamless coordination, the suspect boat was intercepted by ICGS Sangram in the wee hours of 20 Apr 15, and thereafter, apprehended later in the morning, whilst IN Ship Kondul provided support to the entire evolution. The initial investigations by Sangram have led to recovery of 232 packets of narcotics (suspected to be heroin and worth up to Rs. 600 Crores in the international markets). Additionally, satellite communication phones and Global Positioning Systems, being used to facilitate transhipment of the contraband to another boat were also confiscated.

The apprehended boat is being brought to Porbandar for further investigations by law enforcement authorities.


Climate Change a Challenge, not Business Opportunity: Javadekar

Environment Minister attends Major Economies Forum meeting

Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar has said that climate change is a challenge and not a business opportunity. Speaking at the Major Economies Forum meeting that took place in Washington D.C on April 19-20, 2015, Shri Javadekar said that the developed world should not profit from disaster. Reiterating India’s commitment for a fair and equitable agreement at Paris this year, the Minister said that we have to work like ants to build the Earth.

Following is the text of Shri Javadekar’s speech at the Major Economies Forum:

“India is committed to walk along the road to Paris, hand-in-hand with others for a fair and equitable agreement this year. But it would not join bullying tactics and will not allow yet another Copenhagen in Paris. The days of bulldozing have gone and now we have to work like ants to build the Earth together.

Paris will succeed only if we restrict to ensure that every country present their INDCs and that they get implemented. For compliance, the developed world must fulfil it's financial commitment. It will also have to ensure that at the very least, critical technologies are available at affordable cost. The developed world should not profit from disaster. Climate change is a challenge and not business opportunity.

India has already initiated a very ambitious action plan for renewable energy and India will walk energy efficiency path effectively. Our emission intensity is getting reduced as per our planning. Even the IPCC Emission Gap Report has certified that India is on the dot in the implementation.

The cycle of INDCs should be 10 years and drivers for updating should be science, as it evolves, and technologies, as they develop. There is a need for large- scale behavioral change Programmes to be undertaken. All countries need to ensure that fuel consumption does not increase in the period when petrol prices are lower.

We should discuss ideas like decarbonisation, long term goals on forums like Major Economies Forum. But we should not bring on table any new idea/item for Paris at this late hour. Let us not try to put new targets which will not be sustainable.

India wants that each party should consider adjustments on the basis of historical responsibilities and equitable sharing of global atmospheric resources and carbon space in the context of imperatives of poverty eradication, universal energy access and sustainable development for developing countries. India also expects that there needs to be urgent and immediate ambitious actions in the pre- 2020 period, and it must not be delayed by developed countries. Any delays threaten the credibility of their ambition and commitment to combat climate change.

Let us ensure that all countries submit their INDCs and ensure and create an ambience whereby they will be implemented. That is the sure formula for success in Paris.”
Call Centres for Refrigerated Van Drivers Call Centres for Refrigerated Van Drivers Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 5:32 PM Rating: 5

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