Saturday, March 22, 2008

Inclusive? Not, Really!

Amidst all the hype and hoopla over the massive 6000 Cr farm loan waiver and tax soaps to the common man, the media and pundits alike seems to have missed the essential point. The Finance Minister's claim of his budget being "inclusive" doesn't really cut ice!
Though, I along with a minority, agree that the waiver is gonna benefit a whole lot of farmers (i am not disputing the numbers here, for numbers were always manipulated to suit one's objectives and points), this measure seemed to be a very short-sighted one (ie leaving aside the fact that general election are round the corner and UPA has started investing in vote-banks), this loan waiver is basically a temporary solution just because of the simple fact that it failed to address the core systematic issues plaguing the farmer, which inturn give rise to his indebtedness.
The agricultural sector, similar to all other core sectors is looking out for investments and inflow of money to prop it up. Today we have investments coming into all sort of such core sectors beginning from real-estate, infrastructure, airports, telecom, media and even cricket », but not agriculture. Statistics say more than 40% of india's agricultural produces become stale and perishable, by the time it reaches the market. (Blame it on the delivery systems, the as-usual-culprit, the paradox called india , just like thousands of tonnes of rice getting eaten by rats, while crores of people die of hunger) Why cant a country that launches satellites and aim to put man on moon devise a method wherein it can preserve the farm produces?
...The loss of his 'produce' is borne by the farmer by the way of a loan, and because he has lost his forthcoming crop to a draught or a flood, he cannot repay the debt. Attracting private investments or even Government funding into cold-storage or better, efficient, fast logistical chains would facilitate and help out more farmers than the proposed loan waiver. Quite unlike the Golden Quadrilateral project or the proposed plan to linking rivers, the government could have gone in for a linking of water canals and investments in local water-bodies like ponds and other water sources. Public investment on such localised projects already form part of the much successful NREGA programmes, and what was needed was just a thrust towards linking the NREGA with this Linking canal project. It could have further increased the industrial growth and more cash in people's hands, thus living with the Finance Minister's slogan of 'Inclusiveness'. That the Minister failed to see this point, paints a sad picture.
FootNote :-
(Cricket)
IPL Auction, made us, as a nation move ahead from being an implicit sellers of our past glory to one that buys out an glamorised future. If earlier, we used to say that money could buy out anything, today, with IPL auction, we saw it live on TV and what more, clapped too... No wonder, the blatant throw-away of money on people - that our idols have become products out for sale - provokes debates, introspections, celebrations, and even recrimination.
(NREGA)
The NREGA or national rural employment guarntee act provides a legal framework for 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members, including women, in any rural household, willing to do unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage of not less than 60/- a day. The work mostly involves labor like builduing bunds, small scale dams, roads etc, and the Central Government directly pays the wage. All jobs are provided within 5 Kms radius of the household, and each adult member is given a job card. The scheme has been a huge success since its inception in 2006.

1 Bouquets And Brickbats:

pr said...

Very well written!Style and language are worthy of Special appreciation.To sum up i would say,this piece truly deserves a better place..Print Media!

 
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