QBullet: Govt To Declare Highest MSP Hike Ever For Paddy & More

Here are the top stories of the day.

6 min read
A farmer winnows paddy crops in the field. 

1. Government Set to Announce Highest Increase in MSP for Paddy Crop

The government appears all set for the highest ever single-year raise in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy from this Kharif season to honour its Budget announcement to ensure MSP is kept at least at one and half times of the production cost.

A highly placed government source told The Indian Express that the government is considering raising the paddy MSP to the tune of about Rs 200 per quintal. The MSP for common grade of paddy was Rs 1,550 per quintal the previous year. The previous best paddy MSP hike stood at Rs 155 a quintal (including the bonus of Rs 50) a decade ago in the 2008-09 election year of UPA-I.

Like in the UPA-I, this massive hike in MSP for paddy comes in the election year of the Narendra Modi government. This hike assumes significance given that it covers the crop which constitutes over 50 percent of the total acreage of food grain crops during Kharif season.

A farmer burns paddy crop residue in south east Punjab.
A farmer burns paddy crop residue in south east Punjab.
(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

2. Burari Deaths: Diary Notings 'Explain' the Inexplicable

Two diaries found at the Sant Nagar "house of horror" have helped police make some sense of the bizarre "mass suicides". A day after TOI reported the diaries' contents, a special team in crime branch minutely studied them and is preparing a report.

According to sources, it appeared that Lalit, Narayani Bhatia's youngest son, had been making notes on someone's "directions" – possibly his father, Gopal Das Bhatia – who died 10 years ago. "It appears that Lalit had been hallucinating that his father was giving instructions to the family through him," said an officer who studied the diaries.

The notings indicate that the family, at some point, may have tried to organise a "meeting" with Lalit's late father.

2. PNB Fraud: Interpol Issues Red Corner Notice Against Nirav Modi, His Brother and Close Aide

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) on Monday issued a red corner notice (RCN) against diamantaire Nirav Modi in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.

Along with Nirav Modi, Interpol RCN has been issued against his brother Neeshal Modi and close aide Subhash Parab in the Rs 13,578-crore PNB scam.

Sources say that the red corner notices have been issued against Nirav Modi, Neeshal Modi and Subhash Parab in CBI & ED case related to cheating, criminal conspiracy, corruption and money laundering.

4. Punjab Wants Death for Drug Peddlers

The Punjab government on Monday decided to recommend to the Centre death penalty for drug smugglers and peddlers. The move follows a huge spurt in deaths across the state allegedly due to drug overdose.

At a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the Punjab Cabinet decided to send a formal recommendation to the Centre at the earliest to amend the legislation involved. Punjab would be perhaps the first state in the country to make such a recommendation.

5. JD(U) to Fight BJP in Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh

Days ahead of a meeting between BJP chief Amit Shah and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, the Janata Dal (United) has upped the ante by deciding to contest forthcoming Assembly polls in four states, including BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, on its own.

Though the JD(U) has a nominal presence in these states, the move to field its candidates in elections that are crucial for the BJP — the party is seeking fourth terms in MP and Chhattisgarh and the polls come just ahead of the 2019 LS polls — will be seen as pressure tactics to get the BJP to part with a “reasonable” number of LS seats in Bihar.

PM Narendra Modi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
PM Narendra Modi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
(Photo: The Quint)

6. Cracks in PDP: Ex-Minister Says Mehbooba Mufti Let Her Family Hijack Party

Days after it lost power in J&K, cracks are beginning to appear in the PDP with a former minister speaking out against Mehbooba Mufti’s leadership, and claiming that several MLAs and PDP stalwarts too were unhappy with the state of affairs in the party.

Shia leader Imran Raza Ansari, who was a PDP minister in the alliance government with the BJP that collapsed last month, told The Indian Express: “The party has been hijacked by vested interests. She (Mehbooba) chose her cronies over elected members to run the party and the government.’’

The party leadership, he said, “seems to be in a state of shock and paralysis and they do not know what to do… People close to Mehbooba Mufti have not allowed her to function. She has allowed herself to be swayed by four or five people around her, against her better judgment”.

7. SC Seeks Reply from UP Govt on Plea Demanding Probe into Encounter Killings

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the UP government’s response to a PIL seeking a CBI probe, monitored by a retired SC judge, into controversial police encounters in the state.

Appearing for petitioner People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), advocate Sanjay Parekh told a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud that the NGO intended to bring to the SC’s notice “incidents of massive administrative liquidation taking place in UP in blatant violation of rule of law, legal and constitutional protection available to citizens, including right to life”.

The CJI-led bench asked PUCL to give a copy of the petition to UP’s additional advocate general Aishwarya Bhati and asked her to file the state’s response to the petition within two weeks.

8. Green Panel Stays Felling of Trees in Delhi Till 19 July

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday stopped the felling of at least 14,000 trees for the redevelopment of seven south Delhi neighbourhoods till 19 July, the next date of hearing.

A bench headed by acting NGT chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim ordered status quo on tree felling in south Delhi till further orders and issued notices to various agencies, including the Central Public Works Department, NBCC (India) Limited and the Union urban and housing affairs ministry, to file their responses by 19 July. The Delhi high court, which had earlier stopped the felling of trees till 4 July, is likely to hear the matter on Wednesday.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

9. Govt Unveils Plan for Banks’ Stressed Assets

The government today accepted a new resolution scheme submitted by a committee of bankers to tackle India’s mounting bad loans, interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said.

The scheme, titled Sashakt, aims at resolving the problem of non-performing assets through a market-led approach. Under the scheme, bankers are not seeking any dispensation or forbearance from the Reserve Bank of India, Goyal told reporters at a news conference today.

Last month, Goyal had announced the setting up of a high-powered bankers’ committee to better deal with bad loans through an asset management company or asset reconstruction company structure. Sunil Mehta, chairman of Punjab National Bank, had been asked to lead the committee.

Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. 
Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. 
(File Photo: IANS)
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!