Directions (Q. 1-12): ln the following passage there are blanks, each of which has been numbered. These numbers are printed below the passage and against each, five words are suggested, one of which fits the blank appropriately. Find out the appropriate word in each case.
The world is witnessing food price turbulence again. A bad drought in Russia, rising demand in the US and developing countries, and Pakistan’s blighted crop prospects after its floods are keeping prices of commodities such as cereals, sugar, oil and meat high. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s monthly food price (1) is heading north.
India is not (2) from this problem even at the best of times. For the week that ended on 11 September, food prices (as (3) by the Wholesale Price Index) rose by 15.86%.
Given the robust demand for foodstuffs, a time of price volatility calls for a careful look at the “design” issues surrounding food supply management. At times, even huge food stocks are not able to (4) rising food prices. The fault lies in how food is released to traders by government agencies such as the Food Corporation of India (FCI). This problem is apart from FCI’s high carrying cost of foodgrains. But this is not the problem at (5).
For example, under the open market sales scheme (OMSS) a fixed quantity of grain, usually in multiples of metric tonnes, is sold to traders, flour mills and other buyers when supplies are (6) or there is price volatility. But a combination of price rigidity, terms of sale and the quantity sold under OMSS defeats its purpose. One reason for this is the large volume in the hands of very few individual buyers. This (7) to perverse economic incentives.
Often, the grain sold under this scheme winds up back with food (8) agencies because of price differentials (the price at which it is sold and the prevailing market price). This has been observed many times in states as diverse as Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. If the number of buyers is (9) and the quantity sold to each buyer reduced, or the price fixed but the amount of grain that can be bought kept flexible, these problems can be (10).
This makes for a sensible menu of options. But it needs careful implementation. And if, for some reason, changes are required to suit (11) conditions in different states, the economic logic behind these ideas should not be lost (12) of.
1. 1) index
2. 1) affected
3. 1) developed
4. 1) arrest
5. 1) this
6. 1) nil
7. 1) rises
8. 1) hoarding
9. 1) controlled
10. 1) neglected
11. 1) good
12. 1) weight