Govt gets panicky on price rises!
Food grains distribution to the States to be reduced!
Prices rise steeply for rice, wheat, sugar, pulses and edible oils! Sugar costs Rs.22 per kg! Wheat, sugar and milk prices contribute directly to inflation. So, desperate steps to impose restriction and other actions under the Essential commodities act. The unusual steep price rise is caused by the shortages that had been caused by decline in production as well as the entry of private players who are now stocking goods in anticipation of the price rise. This is a type of situation we have seen when there were always shortages of essential commodities.
Yes, there are rumors that the agri ministry under Sharad Pawar had failed. Since we know the Minister and so we want to be polite to him. Otherwise, see in a more objective way, the current performance of the agri minister has been a big disappointment. No single initiative from the ministry had caught the attention of the nation or the farming community. The Punjab farmers had resorted to agitation to get the mounting farm debt wiped off.
Yes, we need some drastic national level lobbying to get the huge farm debts written off once for all. More so in the major States where the high persisting farmers suicides had brought shame to the entire country. Luckily, not many ministers in the present government seem to be bothered about such mounting crisis in the countryside.
There can only be one way to solve the agriculture sector’s multiple problems. That is to empower the farmers, the actual cultivators. Give the benefits of the economic reforms to the farm sector.
Is this an easy task? Or, too problematic?
No one even seems honest enough to ask such questions!
Everyone seems to avoid the topic of agriculture altogether. Have you seen, when the PM or the FM or the Planning Commission head talking of agri sector’s status in the 11th Plan?
You create SEZs and make so much noise. But what about the SEZs you created for agri sector long ago?
Now, the IMF says such SEZs are too unwelcome for they would prove to be tax avoidance havens for the big business in the country. Such SEZs would create imbalances in the various regions; already the SEZs are concentrated in some States only.
There is wisdom in such an advice.
Also farmers seem to be deprived of their valuable resources by parting with their lands once for all to the SEZs. There has been a radical new thinking. All farmers in the SEzs must be made stake holders; they must get shares and enjoy perpetual benefits from such displacements.
Can any of the ministers today, PM, FM, Commerce Minister or Ministers dare to think aloud on such lines? They must, otherwise, the time lost in coolly taking away innocent farmers lands, in such vast quantities would impact the economy in several ways.
We are also keeping quiet, for coalition politics sake some States mindless wastage of essential commodities like rice in such PDS schemes like free rice. In TN, it is proving to be a scandal. Yes, give rice but a reasonable cost and also observing the BPL/APL norms. Some reasonable restraint on the distribution of food grains or free kerosene is essential for good governance, for managing our perilous food economy.
Image Source : stockwatch.in