India to launch Rs100 crore scheme to support cooperatives - GulfToday

India to launch Rs100 crore scheme to support cooperatives


People wait outside a Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank branch in Mumbai to withdraw money. Reuters

In line with schemes like Start-up India and Stand-up India aimed at young entrepreneurs, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will launch the Yuva Sahakar-Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme 2019 with an annual outlay of Rs 100 crore.

The scheme is aimed at cooperatives in the northeastern region, cooperatives registered and operating in aspirational districts as identified by NITI Aayog, and cooperatives with 100 per cent women/SC/ST/persons with disability members.

The scheme will be launched at the first-ever India International Cooperatives Trade Fair (IICTF) to be held here from Oct.11-13.

As 94 per cent of total farmers in India are members of at least one cooperative institution, the IICTF is aimed at furthering the government’s goal of doubling farmers’ income by promoting cooperative-to-cooperative trade within India & abroad and promoting exports of key agriculture commodities and products.

More than 120 Indian cooperatives and 35 countries from six continents having purchased exhibition booths for participating in IICTF.

The fair is jointly organised by the NCDC in association with the Bangkok-based international organisation NEDAC and leading organisations in India (NAFED, APEDA, ITPO) with the support of Ministries of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Commerce and Industry and External Affairs.

While the minimum support price (MSP) set by the government has failed to benefit a large section of farmers, the crash in food prices as a result of excess supply has added to their woes.

Agri sector experts maintain that MSP benefits are very limited and hence most farmers are unable to recover their costs, let alone a fair price for their produce. A stagnant farm income poses a huge challenge to the Modi government’s promise of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

“MSP is just a political announcement. Most farmers get Mandi (wholesale) price and not the MSP. In the market, transaction eventually takes place between private players. If a buyer has fixed a price, then farmers do not have any option. Only 7 per cent farmers get MSP benefits,” said Vijay Sardana, an agri market expert.

Noted agriculture expert Ashok Gulati said that farmers have been in distress as they are unable to recover the cost of production.

Raising the MSP for major crops in July 2018, the government had termed the hike as historic. It had said that the price for Kharif crops of 2018-19 was based on the principle of fixing the MSPs at a level of at least 150 per cent of the cost of production.

Accordingly, the return over cost for various crops ranged between 50 and 97 per cent. The maximum MSP increase was seen in the case of Bajra with a hike of Rs 525 per quintal. Many experts attribute the farm sector distress to excess supply which has been reflecting in the foodgrain stock. The fall in foodgrain prices globally has also influenced the price in the domestic market.

This is the reason that the increase in MSP has not translated in equal increase in farm produce prices on the ground.

Indo-Asian News Service 1 in 3 Indian firms facing high financial loss from hacking (13:48) Bengaluru, Oct 10 (IANS) Nearly one in three Indian organisations are facing longer downtimes and higher financial costs from security breaches and 24 per cent of firms felt a financial impact of $1 million or more in the past year in the country, a report said on Thursday.

Nearly 37 per cent of companies in India experienced a downtime of over 9 hours after their most severe breach in the past year, compared to just 30 per cent globally, according to Cisco’s “2019 Asia Pacific CISO Benchmark Study”. Longer downtimes often result in higher financial costs.

“Organisations in India have made significant improvements to their cybersecurity postures, in the last year. However, high workloads and alert fatigue continue to be a big challenge,” said Vishak Raman, Director, Security Business, Cisco India and SAARC.

“Hence, enterprises in India are looking at increasing the level of automation in their security strategy as well as opting for an integrated end-to-end solution to secure their infrastructure,” Raman added.

According to the study, 46 per cent of respondents reported receiving more than 5,000 threat alerts a day; however, 43 per cent of them went unattended, compared to 39 per cent in 2018.

Of the threats that were investigated and found to be genuine, only 41 per cent were remediated (down from 52 per cent in 2018).

“Hackers are no longer just targeting IT infrastructure but have started to attack operational technology infrastructure, intensifying the challenge for companies,” the report said.