Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 28

The Government has confirmed that one sample from Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh has tested positive for avian influenza.

Ever since bird flu was detected in Jalgoan District of Maharashtra, surveillance has been stepped up in the district and the adjoining area of Burhanpur district.

About 96 samples were collected from 13 talukas between March 15 and 18 and sent to the lab in Bhopal. "Eight samples in all from the above have tested positive as per the testing protocol prescribed for avian influenza. Of these, seven were from six villages of the same district, i.e. Jalgaon, and one was from Burhanpur district," said an official release.

The Government has said control and containment operations will be initiated in these areas. Birds within a radius of 10 km from each of the above seven villages will be culled. The necessary operations will commence on Wednesday. Further surveillance of the area is underway.

Measures for sector

The Government and the Reserve Bank of India have announced various relief measures to the poultry industry that include one-time reduction of four percentage points in the interest payment liability on the bank loans of all types taken by the poultry units. This amount will be directly credited to the accounts. A moratorium of one year on payment of principal and interest due to all banks in respect of all loans to the poultry industry, conversion of working capital into term loan payable over three years, reschedule of term loans obtained by poultry units over an additional period of two years from the agreed tenure of the loan, sanction of additional working capital and barring wilful default are the other relief measures. Also, defaulted accounts will not to be treated as NPAs.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 29, 2006)
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