Saturday, June 28, 2014


Tejinder Narang
Mystic Mirdad proceeded to the stable and spoke kind words to a sick cow for her wellness. The disciple asked Mirdad how can a cow understand Him?  Mirdad replied— what matters is the “vibrations of words” and not the words. After a while, the cow responded in good health.
Any name or “naam”, say Gopal-- a word (shabd in Hindi) -- uttered from mouth and heard through ears becomes an audio frequency that identifies the person Gopal in mental consciousness. Likewise process of seeing is conversion of light frequency to cognitive energy in consciousness.  Only a consciousness in vibratory mode can decipher frequencies and not a dud consciousness.
Sanctified “vibrations of words” can be resonations or “dhun”, also termed as “Shabd Dhun” in Indian spiritual thought. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him,” says Holy Bible.  Without the Word, existence ceases.  The “Word” or “Shabd” may be a mystical connotation, yet an expanse of infinite vibrational energy.
Five elements of nature-air, fire, earth, water, ether—are energies generated by oscillations of atomic or sub atomic particles. All beings, including humans, are a mixture of these five elements, and therefore represent compounded form of vibrational energies.  Heart beats are the most prominent rhythmic pulsations of a body. Light, sound, thoughts/ communications, changing seasons, planets etc. are all signatures of vibrational diversities. Vibrations are thus seamless connectivity of life and (to what we infer as) non-life.
God perhaps too is boundless, powerful and primal vibration from where currents of diverse frequencies descend to manifest in subtle/gross forms. Unity and diversity are interwoven while suggesting sublime intimacy of spirituality and science.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


This is an article from Business Line ePaper appeared on 24th June, 2014

Please click on the following link to read :

Tejinder Narang
 A French proverb quips—the more things change the more they remain the same (plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose). In its earnest to tackle rising food inflation the new Government  has taken  a welcome initiative to delist fruits/ vegetables including onions (FVO) from APMC act, while all other measures are as usual-- short term firefighting actions of political expediency, repeated several times in past while long term reforms are awaited.
Government attributes spurt in food inflation to hoarding by traders. That is a standard cliché.  During period of inflationary spiral, traders are labeled as “middlemen” in a disparaging manner who resort to unjust enrichment. Though PM is encouraging cohesiveness amongst all participants for speedy economic development, the system is still stuck in old mind set  by keeping traders at an arm’s length.  The fact is that FCI, on behalf of the Government, is the nation’s largest mandi and hoarder, year after year with nil accountability. As of June 2014, about 32 million tons of “excess” grains at average cost of Rs 25000/mt –total Rs 80,000 crores, is jammed therein.  
Onions, Government, Traders
Reverting to FVOs, since action against de-hoarding is a state subject, the onus of tackling shortages/inflation gets transferred to states after the Centre suggests states to “act”. If States/ UTs carry out direct intervention through PSUs or agro federations/marketing boards for subsidised distribution of FVO items, this amounts to induction of another intermediary/layer who procures from  private trade and then under-prices a commodity to consumers which can also be exposed to round tripping. Operational cost and losses of such official intermediaries (bound to exist in perishable commodities) get debited to state exchequers funded by common man. It is again more of Government and less of governance.
Elimination of traders was one of the major factors in this collapse of socialistic system in Soviet Union and East European nations. In a free economy, middle men or traders are logistical arteries of free flow of commodties that function 24 hours/ 365 days with utmost alertness because their own funds and profits are at stake. Traders are better connected with farmers than the bureaucracy. Medium size trading businesses have a limited capital and cannot afford to hoard FVOs with a very short shelf life,   even if negative impact of El-Nino is perceived, as bullishness in coming months.
Government could have called a meeting of some of stakeholders (prominent farmer leaders/traders) for resolution of their problems/bottlenecks/disputes atNashik/Mumbai’s Vashi market/Delhi Azadpur depot, to ease the supply side. However Government resorted to closed door meetings without engaging instruments of action that matter in the market. By keeping trade out of retailing, points of supply side /sale diminish and last mile availability wanes. Inflation even in short term may not be reined as PSUs/marketing federations will take time to respond in procurement and distribution. Due to vigilance’s oversight, these agencies are rule bound and are slow to react in dynamic market.
Decision of releasing 5 million tons (mts) of additional rice to state Governments is a step forward for destocking FCI, though contours of release mechanism are hazy. Do states/APL beneficiaries require this rice? Moving 5million tons will require about 2000 railway rakes (carrying capacity of each rake is about 2500 mt). This is in addition to about 2 million tons rice distributed per month through PDS by FCI equivalent to 800 rail rakes or 27 rakes per day. Will such a vigorous movement be feasible? The devil is in the detail. If intent of release is implemented only then it will send a sentiment of bearishness in domestic market, otherwise not.
Furthermore, there is no open market sale (OMSS) price for rice as in the case of wheat as there are no bulk users of rice.  Above Poverty Line (APL) release price is Rs 8/kg, while BPL release price is Rs 4/kg against average open market price of Rs 24-27/kg, while economic cost is Rs 29/kg and bare cost is Rs20/kg. Thus fixation of release rice for the market is critical.
 If 5 million tons is disposed at APL/BPL values, beneficiaries will be tempted to trade @ Rs 10-14 per kg in illicit channels to create cash liquidity of Rs 3000- 5000 crores and that will further fuel inflation. Preferably Government sale price may be Rs 18-20/kg to offset risk of diversion back to FCI and to block generation of black money. Indeed a tough task for policymakers. Also, why hike MSP of paddy this year if food inflation is to be curbed?
Pulses &edible oils
Price sentiment of pulses and edible oils internationally is bearish. By announcing credit lines to the states, mandate to import is given in advance and that may firm up world markets of these commodities. Probability of unwanted imports on government account cannot be ruled out.
APMC act
The decision to exclude FVO from the ambit APMC act has been widely welcomed as it  provides freedom to stakeholders to sell and buy. This should enable some respite on inflationary pressures but action from the states on this advisory will be watched.
But other mega reforms -- limiting procurement from states who give bonus on paddy/ wheat  (like Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan , MP) and who levy heavy local taxes ranging from 5% to 14.5%; rationalising Food Security Act, building hygienic storage facilities and calibrating MSP judiciously and not politically (as in the case of sugarcane) also need immediate attention. If the present system of sometimes supporting producers/farmers and then subsidizing consumers continues, firefighting on food inflation will continue frequently and indefinitely.

Friday, June 13, 2014







SAARC countries--Bangladesh,Pakistan, Afghanistan, Srilanka  can be offered better prices in line with policy of regional leadership of new Government. Poor qulaity wheat can be disposed off as feed wheat.

12 mill. tons surplus wheat with Government needs disposal

Wheat procurement by Government in current rabi season is 27.5 million tons. FCI carries about 42 million tons of wheat (Rs 84000 crores at economic cost of Rs 20000/mt) on 1st June 2014 (FCI website). After accounting for all domestic needs, buffer norms and even assuming threat of El-Niño (as an abundant precaution) there is a surplus of 12 million of wheat ( Rs 25200 crores) as configured in the graphic below. Logically, wheat being a rabi crop, may not have any direct connectivity with weaker monsoons –but indirectly, yes –if there is lack of moisture in soil in November/December due to poor precipitation there could be some marginal effect, with a big if.

Food Ministry dithered on continuation of wheat exports from FCI owing to uncertainty on good crop affected by extended rains; waiting for formation of new Government and for supporting higher market prices to prompt farmers to offload grains to exporters, rather than to FCI/official agencies. Government did miss an excellent opportunity for evacuation of its own stocks at better prices in the first quarter of FY2015 in the international market, especially when Ukraine/Russian/Crimea conflict was at its peak. Private trade did take advantage of this niche window in a limited way by contracting about 1.5 million tons, while FCI/PSUs exports could have easily doubled this volume at an average price of $280-285/mt fob (Rs 17000/m apprx.t) in March –June 2014.
Black sea (Russia/Ukraine/Kazakhstan) new crop of about 90 million tons will hit in July/August.  Anticipated supply pressure has already bottomed out their values to $245-250/mt fob. Subsequent price ascension internationally cannot be ruled out due to impact of El-Nino, if any, from August/September on the Australian crop (harvested in December /January). Escalation of Russia/Ukraine conflict and imposition of trade sanctions on Russia and in turn Russia squeezing Ukrainian economy can be bullish for world wheat values.
From Indian perspective, it may be difficult to offload wheat at $240-250 fob at this point of time. But can we afford to be absent from domestic and international market with 12 million tons surplus? If files are to be processed electronically on line—as suggested by the new Government- encashing the crop which would be otherwise be lost to dust and destruction in unhygienic storages cannot carry lower priority. Matrix of disposal can be configured in three parts--
First, sell to roller flour millers (RFMs) by aligning OMSS (open market sale price) with market price. Disposal at market price to RFMs will reduce wheat inflation.
Second, the current minimum export price (MEP) of Indian wheat of $260/mt fob will not work ---both due to declining quotes hovering even below $240 fob. Traders also presume that as Black Sea currencies depreciate, there could be further downside.
This is the right time for India to strategize wheat evacuation of diminished quality and quantity lying in open or CAP storages (kuccha or Pucca) muddled with higher foreign matter (FM) beyond 1%. Milling wheat is traded with max 1% FM.   Old crop say FY13 or FY14 with FM beyond 2% can be sold at discounted price as feed wheat in far -east and middle- east markets for poultry and livestock industry. Generally there is price differential of $20-$25 between milling and feed wheat values. India may have to reset MEP of low quality wheat at $240. Precedent of similar policy initiative by NDA in 2000-04 by allowing export of lustre loss wheat of lesser worth can be relied upon.  Three million tons of quantity—eq to CAP capacity of the Government-- can be considered as feed wheat export at MEP of $240, subject to tender procedure.
Third, should El-Niño and Black sea crisis  deteriorate  grain supplies world-wide and prices rise again to $290-$300 or beyond, Indian Government can revisit the MEP on the higher side for maintaining sustained tempo of exports of good quality milling wheat as well.
Bangladesh needs about 3 million tons—one million ton on official account and 2 million ton by privates and they would prefer to source it from India due to apparent freight advantage and uncertainty in dealing with Black sea countries, provided it is priced competitively. Pakistan too may need some cheaper imports. Selling to SAARC countries can be incentivized and that could be in line with the policy of this government for regional leadership.  
Why wait and waste huge volume of wheat simply by inaction—which is certainly unwarranted under the current leadership.