India

Daily Briefing: Govt raises MSP for kharif crops; Centre may renegotiate vaccine prices with SII and Bharat Biotech

Good morning,

The Big Story 

Even as the government raised the minimum support price (MSP) of kharif crops, some farmers in Punjab say it’s too little, too late. Sowing of cotton, an alternative crop for paddy, was over before the MSP was announced. And some also pointed out that the “marginal increase” is not sufficient to cover the rise in input costs such as diesel and fertilisers. 

Only in the Express 

With the Centre now responsible for 75 per cent of the Covid vaccine distribution, it is looking for a further downward revision of the procurement price per dose, which is currently Rs 150 for Covishield and Covaxin. 

From the Front Page 

Jitin Prasada is not a pan-Uttar Pradesh leader. In fact, he doesn’t even wield considerable influence in western UP from where he hails. However, Prasada’s switch to the BJP further enforces the impression of Congress being a party in disarray. Jyotiraditya Scindia left last year, Prasad this year, will it be Sachin Pilot next?

Meanwhile, for at least the seventh year in a row, the BJP has dwarfed all major parties in terms of donations received from corporates and individuals. In 2019-20, it received roughly Rs 750, which is at least five times more than what the Congress party received (Rs 139 crore).

There are no signs of let-up in the farmers’ backlash against the ruling BJP and JJP in Haryana. Leaders from both parties have been forced to cancel visits and reduce public appearances. Lately, a string of MLAs, including those critical of the farm laws, were even made to publicly apologise for “objectionable” remarks. 

Mumbai: People wade through a waterlogged street after heavy rain at Parel area in Mumbai, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Must Read 

In Madhya Pradesh’s Niwari district, local police are making those who have not been vaccinated carry posters with skull marks and the message: ‘Stay away from me, I haven’t got vaccinated for Covid’.

Two days after he was brutally assaulted near his home by a group of men, Vinod Bamnia, a 21-year-old Dalit man from Rajasthan and a member of Bhim Army, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Sriganganagar. This comes nearly two weeks after the same group of men, belonging to an OBC community, tore down posters of BR Ambedkar pasted outside Bamnia’s house. 

An editorial in the June edition of Gujarat Sahitya Akademi’s official publication, Shabdashrushti, has hit out at a poem by Gujarati poet Parul Khakhar on the bodies of suspected Covid victims found floating in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for spreading “anarchy”. It also called those who discussed or circulated it “literary Naxals”.

As the country continues to fall short of vaccines amid its ambitious vaccination drive, India will soon embark on an exercise to investigate if it can immunise people using a “mix and match” of different Covid-19 vaccines. Has this been done before? Does it work? What are the concerns? We explain. 

And Finally 

On par with Amit Panghal’s consistency in the ring has been his constant support for childhood coach Anil Dhankar — from constantly crediting him for all his wins, to looking for corporate funding to pay Dhankar’s salary before Sports Authority of India stepped in. The quest, now, is to take Dhankar along to Tokyo.

Delhi Confidential: On the day Jitin Prasada joined the BJP, Congress leader Milind Deora surprised some party leaders by putting out a tweet praising the Gujarat government. He later tweeted that the Congress can and must reclaim its position as India’s big tent party

In today’s episode of 3 Things, we look at how a UP hospital cut off oxygen supply to Covid patients for five minutes as part of a “mock drill”, Madras High Court’s new guidelines for mainstreaming LGBTIQA+ persons, and the latest on the pandemic. 

Until tomorrow

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.


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