The Centre has called a meeting of state ministers on Friday to discuss ways to give a boost to the food processing sector in the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2012-17). Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar will inaugurate the national level conference. On the occasion, he will also launch an e-portal on the food processing sector, an official statement said. The objective of the conference is to find ways to energise the sector
by addressing the problems faced by state governments in using plan funds. Many states have not been able to properly utilise funds allocated in 2012-13 and also this year, under various food schemes.
Assocham asks govt to increase iron ore supply Industry body Assocham on Wednesday asked the central government to increase iron ore supply for the domestic steel industry to promote steel exports and curb the Current Account Deficit (CAD). “We urge the government to increase iron ore supply for the domestic steel industry that is currently running at an all-time low utilisation level as such a move would bring down steel imports, worth a whopping $6 billion. This will also promote steel exports and curb the ever-rising CAD," it said. Iron ore exports of 100 million tonne (MT) would earn India $10 billion, while the country would earn $8-9 billion through exports of just 10 MT steel, it said. “It will also lead to employment generation, capacitybuilding and other benefits,” said a study titled ‘Iron Ore Exports: Threat for Indian Steel Industry’, conducted by Assocham.