Published: Monday 31 January 2000

Punjab will soon stop doling out free power to the agriculture sector and introduce a tariff mechanism to eliminate subsidies which will to wipe off the Rs 3,000 crore deficit the state has incurred.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has launched two five-year projects to enhance the productivity of crop species found in tribal, backward and hilly areas.

Madhya Pradesh's medical and health secretary Rachel Chatterjee has expressed her concern at the high infant mortality rate in the state.

A proposal has been made for the setting up of a field experimental station to conduct research on indigenous and exotic aromatic and medicinal crops in dry alpine Niti valley in the Chamoli district of the Garhwal Himalayas.

The ministry of environment and forests plans to introduce a legislation control backyard smelting and unauthorised reprocessing of lead in bhattis.

Doubts have cropped up over the ability of the Orissa government to fund rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the cyclone affected areas.

Delhi has topped among the seven northern states in terms of productivity of labour and capital. It also has the second lowest cost of capital among the states in the region. This was stated in the Annual Survey of Industries Data released by the Central Statistical Organisation.

The near absence of winter rains and snowfall in the north has jeopardised crop prospects in the current rabi season. Though Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir are the worst hit due to the prolonged dry spell, the other northern states, too, have started feeling the pinch.

Wildlife officials are suspecting that a well- organised international gang is engaged in smuggling animal skins out of the country. These skins are sold in countries where they fetch a high price. Suspicion of the groups presence were confirmed when a large consignment of animal skins was recently seized while it was being smuggled out from Delhi.

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