Letters to the editor dated December 18, 2020

| Updated on December 18, 2020 Published on December 18, 2020

India-UK ties

India’s bilateral relationship with Britain is now set for a positive churn after having remained stagnant for years is no more an exaggerated fact. The growing expectations on both the sides that the upcoming visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to India as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations next month would herald a new beginning in the bilateral ties between the two vibrant democracies of the world are not without any basis.

Factoring in implications of several hues on its economy and trade following its imminent exit from the European Union, Britain has now begun the process of forging and strengthening free trade pacts with countries across the globe. No doubt, India has now inevitably loomed large as the natural partner of Britain as it sought to recalibrate its economic and foreign policies. It is hoped the leadership of both the countries display pragmatism and discard the colonial baggage that hobbled the bilateral relations between the two countries for long and script a new chapter in their ties.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

The outgo on MSP

This has reference to ‘Guaranteed MSP will claim half the Budget’ (December 18). Agricultural produce procurement is not an expenditure, but an investment for food security to 138 crore Indians.

The difference between MSP and market price is the subsidy element; the entire procurement price isn’t an expenditure. Further, PM-KISAN has only eight crore farmers enrolled as against the expected 14 crore. All those enrolled under the scheme aren’t farmers and many farmers who are share-croppers, tenant cultivators and farm labourers are outside the ambit of PM-KISAN as the yardstick for enrolment is ownership.

The landlords of farmlands will not be cultivating lands for two reasons. One, they would have leased out the farms and, two, they would have sold them but still mutation in land records would not have happened due to the attendant issues in our revenue system. Farmers should not have any objection in taxing big landlords and other professionals who own farms to claim tax exemptions. Besides, corporates in agriculture should be taxed.

S Veeraraghavan

Sambakulam, Madurai

Protests need to stop

This refers to the Supreme Court having reportedly asked the government to consider “putting on hold” the new farm laws. It also goes without saying that if the Centre agrees to the court’s proposal, then the agitating farmers should also be simultaneously asked to suspend their ongoing protests, which have already crossed three weeks. One hopes the Supreme Court comes to the rescue of various stakeholders soon by holding case hearings on a regular basis. By the way, will all these agitating farmers allow similar blockage of roads connecting with their own villages and farmlands if taken recourse to by people belonging to other States having grievances against their own parent State governments?

Vinayak G


Farmers must negotiate

The Supreme Court has rightly advised the Centre to form a panel involving farmers of all States to sort out the issues raised by the protesting farmers in the national capital. As some of the farmer unions have stated that this is a moral victory, they should stop the agitation and start negotiating with the authorities. It is common knowledge how financial intermediaries swindle small and marginal farmers. The new farm laws give an opportunity to farmers to sell their produce in any area, unlike earlier where it was confined to the marketing yards at districts. Also, the Centre has said MSP will be available for around 23 crops, including horticultural crops. Therefore, it is time the farmers stopped their protests and started meaningful and non-political dialogues with the government.

Reforms are a must for the development of any nation. We have had banking and other economic reforms, and agricultural reforms cannot be an exception, especially if they are for the betterment of the farmers. Apprehensions about private players capturing agriculture is misplaced.

Katuru Durga Prasad Rao


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Published on December 18, 2020
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