Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Tuesday, August 07, 2001






Co-operative, not corporate, agriculture
THE just concluded agriculture committee meeting of the principal party in governance at New Delhi recommending ``contract farming'' is ominous. It is an open invitation to rich private sector companies and MNCs to have a go at converting acres of arable land into a capitalist goldmine. At a time when the agriculture top brass in New Delhi are still struggling to chart out a strategy to ``salvage'' Indian agriculture from the onslaught of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the call to contract farming is a covert attempt at ``disinvestment'' in agriculture.

Brain drain
THE news is alarming, to say the least. A recent survey has revealed that `brain drain' costs India around $2 billion a year. The UNDP's Human Development Report-2001 further states that it costs the country $15,000-20,000 to create a professional.

Monsoon hopes
THE MIXED-BAG that India Meteorological Department's mid-season review of south-west monsoon covering rainfall during June-July is, should sufficiently alert governments in the States and at the Centre not to take normalcy of monsoon during the rest of t he season for granted. Indeed, deficient rains in as many as nine out of the 35 meteorological sub-divisions this season is the worst performance of south-west monsoon since 1995.

The consumption trap
DESPITE serious energy shortages in the US, the American public has not appeared willing to sacrifice environmental concerns for increased energy supplies. Major opinion polls over the last few months have consistently shown that a large majority support s, in principle, the basic elements of an alternative energy road map -- such as conservation, utilising renewable energy sources, increasing energy efficiencies, and curtailing carbon-dioxide emissions -- which lead to global warming.

W(i)LL Paswan's dream come true?
FOR the feisty Communications Minister, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, any overt attack on his pet subjects, such as providing rural people with Wireless in Local Loop (WLL) telephone at inexpensive rates, is to be met with equal vehemence. This he demonstrated in ample measure when Opposition members, led by Congress leaders such as Mr Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, and the party's Deputy Leader in the House, Mr Madhavrao Scindia, raked up the matter during question hour in the Lok Sabha.

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