UP procures 5.65 mn tonnes of paddy this kharif season, 13% beyond target

The government has achieved of more than 5.65 million tonnes (MT) in the current 2019-20 marketing season.

With this, the state surpassed its procurement target of 5 MT by 13 per cent. Last year, the state had clocked paddy purchase of nearly 4.83 MT. (See table)

The state season had commenced on October 1 and was to officially conclude by the end of February 2020.

According to official statistics, state government agencies and Food Corporation of India (FCI) procured the food grain from more than 700,000 farmers, including sharecroppers and contract farmers for the first time.

The procurement had been robust due to the high priority accorded by the state for ensuring a hassle-free process and the emphasis it laid on making the fields vacant for enabling early sowing of rabi crop, including wheat.

The Adityanath government has been working on doubling farm income by 2024, with high procurement, remunerative prices, prompt payments, and early vacancy of fields among the key elements of the plan. It is also promoting food processing and allied industries to enrich the farm

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Tight pollution norms to hit power generation, harden prices in 2020: Study

Failure to meet the revised pollution norms set for power projects located in critically polluted areas has cast fears of shortfall in generation.

A sectoral report on power by Axis Capital sees 2020 as the year of large scale disruptions, leading to either partial or full shutdowns of the impacted power plants and levy of severe penalties.

“We expect supply disruptions to push power prices up. It will benefit volume growth for power exchanges and producers like (Energy) and Torrent (Power) with merchant capacities. But, there will be lesser impact on NTPC as most of the FGD (Flue Gas Desulphurisation) orders for 24.6 Gw capacity were placed in 2018”, the report noted.

New emission norms for thermal power projects are scheduled to kick in by March 2022 in a phased manner. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had accelerated compliance deadlines for power stations in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh to December 2019, factoring in air pollution woes in region. Few other power projects concentrated in urban centres had also been assigned swifter timelines to ensure compliance.

Power projects of capacity totalling 163 Gw

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Government scheme funds businesses within hours

Government’s Bank Referral Scheme proved its value this week as three small businesses secured finance within hours through the Alternative Business Funding (ABF) platform and iwoca.

One small business referred to the ABF platform received funding through Iwoca within two hours, another within three hours, and the third customer received funding just 24 hours after registering with ABF.

All three businesses had initially been turned down for funding by their banks – Barclays, RBS and HSBC before being referred to ABF through the Bank Referral Scheme. Although the funding to each business was under £10,000, an additional small business referred by their bank to the ABF platform has also just received a £120,000 business loan from iwoca.

HM Treasury reported in August 2018 that over 900 small businesses turned down for loans from the UK’s high-street banks had received over £15 million of funding thanks to the Bank Referral Scheme.

Alternative Business Funding Business Development Manager, John Evans, said: “This graphically illustrates the success of the Government’s Bank Referral Scheme as all three businesses had been turned down by their banks before being referred to ABF.

The rapid turnaround of these successful applications also highlights the ABF’s ability to identify

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