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Highlights of measures announced to control prices

Posted by Admin on January 16, 2011

Cut onion

Most widely used vegetable in the World

Indo Asian News Service, On Friday 14 January 2011, 2:59 AM

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The government Thursday announced a slew of measures to control prices of essential commodities. Following are the highlights:

— State-run National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and apex federation of consumer cooperatives, NCCF, to sell onions at Rs.35 per kg

— Stringent action against hoarders and black marketers. Cartelisation by large traders to be dealt with strictly dealt

Import and export of all essential commodities to be reviewed on a regular basis

— State units to intensify purchases of essential commodities, particularly edible oils and pulses, for distribution through their retail network

— Existing schemes for subsidised distribution of edible oils and pulses to be continued

Exports of edible oils and pulses, as well as non-basmati rice to remain banned

— Committee of Secretaries under the Cabinet Secretary to review the prices situation with individual states

— An inter-ministerial Group set up under the Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance to review the overall inflation situation

— State Governments to be urged to consider waiving mandi tax, octroi and other local levies to bring down prices further

— A scheme to support the state governments in the setting up of farmers’ mandis and mobile bazaars and to improve the functioning of civil supplies corporations and cooperatives

— Awareness campaigns to make people aware of cheaper alternatives to pulses like yellow peas with a view to influence consumption pattern in favour of such alternatives

— Involve Residents’ Welfare Associations and self-help groups in distribution of essential commodities to address local shortages and ensure that supplies reach the households with least intermediation cost

— Investments to be encouraged in supply chains including provisions for cold storages

— Storage capacities to be increased to stock last years bumper Kharif crop

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Obama welcomes China's move towards flexible yuan

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2010

US dollar bills are counted as yuan notes are seen at a bank in Huaibei, China, file pic

Many in the US say China is keeping the yuan low to boost exports

US President Barack Obama has welcomed China’s announcement that it will allow the exchange rate of its currency, the yuan, to become more flexible.

Mr Obama called it a “constructive step”, saying it would help boost the global recovery.

US politicians have long argued that the yuan is undervalued, giving China an unfair trade advantage.

The issue is expected to be raised at a summit of the G20 group of industrial and developing countries next week.

On Saturday, the Chinese central bank announced it would make its exchange rate mechanism “more flexible”.

The bank said the proposed reform had been made possible by the global recovery.

However, it gave no details about timing and ruled out any single large-scale revaluation of the yuan, saying there was “no basis for big fluctuations or changes”.

This is an important step but the test is how far and how fast they let the currency appreciate

Timothy GeithnerUS Treasury Secretary

The Chinese currency has been held at about 6.83 to the dollar since July 2008, drawing criticism that China was maintaining the currency at an artificially low level to help its exporters.

Commenting on China’s announcement, President Obama said it was “a constructive step that can help safeguard the recovery and contribute to a more balanced global economy”.

“I look forward to discussing these and other issues at the G20 summit in Toronto next weekend.”

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner cautiously welcomed the move. “This is an important step but the test is how far and how fast they let the currency appreciate,” he said.

Under pressure

In April, Mr Geithner delayed a report that could label China a currency manipulator, in what was seen as an attempt to give Beijing time to reform its currency without appearing to do so under pressure.

A number of members of the US Congress believe the low yuan is directly affecting their local economies.

Responding to the announcement, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said China’s statement was too vague.

“Until there is more specific information about how quickly it will let its currency appreciate and by how much, we can have no good feeling that the Chinese will start playing by the rules,” he said.

The BBC’s Damian Grammaticas in Beijing says the announcement may be seen as an attempt to preempt criticism of China’s currency policies at the G20 summit in Canada, where Mr Obama will meet China’s President Hu Jintao.

China has kept the currency from rising by selling yuan for dollars and has built up massive foreign exchange reserves as a result.

The way China invested those reserves is seen by many economists as a key factor in the recent international financial crisis.

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn said China’s announcement was “a very welcome development”.

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