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Rice prices may increase more: Assocham

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New Delhi: With India experiencing spiralling pulse-prices, Assocham on Sunday called for close monitoring of food prices, warning that rice prices may soon reach “boiling point” with stocks falling fast as a fallout of deficient monsoon and drop in output.

“Prices of rice may shoot up to reach a boiling point in the coming months as the stocks of the key staple cereal are depleting fast, owing to deficient rains and fall in output,” Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said in a statement here.

“After pulses, onion and some edible oils like mustard oil, rice may cause pain-in-stomach of the consumers if timely adequate safeguards are not taken,” Assocham’s latest study said.

The industry chamber said though the government estimates kharif rice production at 90.61 million tonnes (MT), the target is unlikely to be achieved owing to severe deficit rains in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka “and the best that could be achieved is 89 MT”.

“The actual production may be around 103 MT during 2015-16. On the stock front, rice stocks have been steadily declining in the past three years,” the study reported.

“As against the stocks of 24.59 MT in 2012, only 13.89 MT (plus unlimited paddy 3.61 MT) are in stock as of today,” it added.

The study titled “Impact of weak/deficient monsoon on agricultural production and prices” said: “Increasing export outgo on account of PDS (Public Distribution System) and other welfare schemes will continue to weigh on availability in the open market”.

“Unless the government is able to handle the situation prudently, depleting stocks will soon reflect on the open market prices.”

It said the deficient monsoon this year is likely to slow down the economy considerably and accentuate inflationary pressure coupled with shortages of essential food items across the country.

“A recurring monsoon failure might push the country into a tight corner in respect of rice, sugar, etc.,” it said.

Assocham suggested that Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) should be encouraged to conserve water.

“Presently, less than 10 percent of paddy production is under DSR due to limitations in the availability of suitable equipment for DSR in clay soils. Urgent attention is needed in this regard to expand DSR acreage on war footing,” the chamber said.

“Given the drop in kharif 2015 foodgrain production at 252.68 MT for 2014-15, against a record 265 MT for 2013-14, it is highly doubtful if India could reach even 250 MT for 2015-16, which is ominous,” it added.

(IANS)

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HP Considering India as a Key Focus Area

India is key focus area, 3D printers next big thing

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HP India
HP unveils 65-inch gaming display with soundbar at CES 2019. Flickr

India is a very attractive market with high brand recognition for a computer hardware producer like HP, said HP Inc’s President for Asia Pacific and Japan, Tian Chong Ng.

The Asia Pacific region — in which India is a key focus area — has been the fastest growing for HP and provided 16 per cent revenue growth last year.

In Q1 of FY2019 it registered 8 per cent growth year-on-year, said Ng in the course of the HP Reinvent 2019 conference, the company’s largest global partner event.

One reason for that is — India – and also the Asia Pacific region — tick marks on demographics trends which provide clear wins for HP: rapid urbanisation and more millennials are joining the work force.

While HP is very positive on India and recognises its potential, there are no plans yet for setting up a manufacturing base in India. Ng said it already has a manufacturing base in China apart from others in Vietnam, Thailand and Japan.

HP
HP. (IANS)

“There is an existing ecosystem in China and we don’t have plans for setting up a manufacturing base in India, he said.

One focus area is the 3D printer, which offers HP great opportunity. Construction and automotive sectors are the focus areas here. Meanwhile, an MoU has been signed with the Andhra Pradesh government.

“To be successful in India demands that we understand it,” he said.

Also Read- Social Networking Giant Facebook Stored Users’ Passwords in ‘Readable’ Form

HP is also pushing gaming in a big way. However, this has not led to any thinking for manufacturing mobile phones in India, despite the high number of gamers in the country spurred by affordable android phones and cheap data.

“Our strength is the PC business and we offer a whole family of products in that space,” Ng said. (IANS)