Of droughts and floods in the Indian economics...


'Drought of Justice, flood of funds' - The Hindu, august 15th, 2009

Hindu normally doesn't use a mocking language in its leading editorials of the day, but this one clearly was an exception. P. Sainath talks about the NREGS (National rural employment Guarantee scheme), the recent historical hikes in Tur dal, Tata Nano, the fiscally imprudent farm load waiver and the generous revenue foregone in indirect taxes to the Indian corporate mob in one go.
And never once in the article the reader feels out of sync.

He's right. The Indian government is very quick when it comes to blaming the drought for the price hikes. But as one must have noticed, the prices had begun to hike since 2004 elections, and not all of these years we had bad monsoons. We again saw quite a price hike just before 2009 elections. The recent unprecedented hike since the last three months is just a natural progression of the sequence, and it has got very little to do with the oncoming drought, if any. Its all about planned speculation.

The writer also talks about monsoon management. Sure, its no where to be seen in Indian agriculture right now. Months receiving more rainfall do not provide proportional increase in the buffer stock, and the govt. doesn't care much as long as the production is crossing the bare essentials for tht year. And it cries along with us when the droughts come. Development of a pond on every farm is also a nice idea, but i doubt the feasibility of it, given the economical status of our farmers and the extremely small farmland divisions we have back in the fields.
But yes, having ponds on a co-operative basis can help. It would definitely reduce the dependence on rain.

Sainath also talks about the immense share of concessions received by the Indian corporate giants, and mocks the hue and cry over the government's right step of farm loan waivers.

Penny wise, Pound foolish. Are we not?

Anyways, I'm impressed by the writer's ability to relate things. In his words, " We celebrated the delivery of the cheapest car in the world and the costliest Tur dal in the Indian history, within the same 31 days.".

How ironical.


Alok.
August 15th, 2009.

p.s. let me take this opportunity to thank every freedom fighter and every soul that got burnt for achieving the Indian Independence. Had it not been for you people's sweat and blood, I might not have been writing this blog right now. This post is dedicated to you all.

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