Letters

Letters to the Editor dated February 28, 2020

| Updated on February 28, 2020 Published on February 28, 2020

Doubling farmers’ income

This refers to the editorial ‘Reimagining agriculture’ (February 28). In spite of the numerous reforms, the farmers are still in distress. Their standard of living is far lower than those in other vocations. Poor literacy and health conditions are hampering their ability to contribute to growth.

Unhygienic surroundings, deficiency in drinking water, absence of motorable roads, inadequate supply of institutional finance, underdeveloped marketing facilities, and high input costs are affecting farm production, job creation and the income of farmers.

Need-based institutional credit at affordable rates isn’t reaching the farmers adequately enough, resulting in their dependence on moneylenders. High-priced credit continues to dominate the rural economy and it is time the government took steps to eliminate this.

Cultivation and marketing risks are yet to be addressed fully, resulting in the erosion of farmers’ earnings, especially the marginal, small and landless cultivators. The doubling of farmers’ income, as envisaged by the government, cannot be achieved without addressing these chronic problems.

VSK Pillai

Kottayam

Freebies to farmers

Apropos ‘We’re on track to doubling farmers’ income’ (February 28), an assurance by the Chairman of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ income is welcome. This goal, however, can become a reality only with due reciprocation from the stakeholders, namely, the small and marginal farmers. The emphasis given in the recent Union Budget on strengthening the dairy sector is one good move. Importantly, the government must reconsider doling out freebies, which are prompting farmers to continue in agriculture only to get the benefits; most of them do not involve themselves actively in cultivation. Despite mechanisation, farming still involves a lot of labour, and the desired income boost can be achieved only if the cultivators are hands-on.

Rajiv N Magal

Halekere Village, Karnataka

Tweak info-tech law

This refers to ‘New Information Technology Act must respect privacy and freedom of speech’ (February 28). All governments in the past have been arbitrarily and selectively using the IT legislation to settle personal scores with dissenters. Despite the apex court striking down Section 66 A of the Act, it is being invoked by various State governments time and again.

The new IT Act needs to ensure that privacy and freedom of speech are not compromised and snooping of Netizens’ data by government or a company should not be permitted except in rare cases where the sovereignty of the nation is under threat.

Governments resort to blocking the Internet at the drop of a hat, inconveniencing the general public in the process. The new Act needs to lay down procedures for such shutdowns too. Further, for the benefit of the masses, dedicated agencies must be earmarked where individuals can forward messages to verify the veracity of unsolicited information and, thereby, help the authorities to check dissemination of dubious messages. The new Act must be citizen-friendly and have sufficient checks and balances.

Deepak Singhal

Chennai

 

Row over judge’s transfer

The ongoing war of words between the Congress and the BJP over the abrupt transfer of Delhi High Court Justice S Muralidhar to the Punjab and Haryana High Court speaks volumes about the highly undesirable level of political heart-burn. What else could explain the Congress party’s top brass getting so upset and claiming the same as mala fide? As against this, the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has described the transfer as routine and having been previously recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium, and accused the Opposition of ‘politicising’ the issue.

Notwithstanding their respective blame games, the timing of the transfer obviously has raised several eyebrows, as it can hardly be seen as justified. The Congress should, however, desist from constantly accusing the government of ‘muzzling’ justice and “breaking people’s faith in an upright judiciary”.

SK Gupta

New Delhi

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

Published on February 28, 2020
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