The wrangle over MSP
This is with reference to the article ‘Why this clamour for farm support price?’ For years governments irrespective of party affiliation have been making promises to the farmers but did not implement them. The recent agitation by farmers is a warning to the ruling parties that farmers’ patience is running thin. Farmers are not even getting back their invested money and they. still continue to be at the mercy of nature. These factors are driving farmers to demand legal guarantee for MSP. But that is unlikely to solve their problems. The government should provide storage godowns at low rental cost. The farmers should upgrade their technical knowledge and start modern methods of farming.
Apropos, N. Madhavan’s article, our agrarian sector is falling a prey to middlemen’s cartels. It is a known fact that in India, the price farmers get for their products is only 30 per cent of what the consumers pay.
As per NITI Aayog more than 49 per cent working population is concentrated in agriculture, which contributes less than 14 per cent of GDP.
To increase consumption demand, since majority of the population lives in rural India, the better way to address this issue is by introducing agricultural reforms. The government proposed a 16-point proactive action plan to improve the condition of the agricultural sector and for doubling farm income.
But unfortunately, the Centre’s top-down approach has stymied the reforms in agriculture. Since agriculture is a state subject, convincing the States and educating farmers through their societies/unions will be the way forward.
The Omicron threat
Apropos the Editorial 'Dealing with Omicron' (December 10), it is unfortunate to have the threat of the heavily mutated avatar of SARS-CoV2 , the Omicron, lurking just when countries across the globe are limping back to normalcy.
The symptoms of Omicron are mild and the number of infected people turning to hospitals and health centres are manageable. But its behaviour with the elderly and those with co-morbidities is less known.
It is said that the impact of Omicron is less on those who had two doses of vaccination and serve as a first deterrent against the new infection.
Though the number of infected cases across States is increasing but is not so alarming. As on date, we still need to cover 50 per cent of the eligible population under vaccination.
We need to redouble our efforts in covering 100 per cent of the population under full vaccination and we can’t afford to take any chances whilst we are on the right path of economic recovery.
Address depositors’ woes
This refers to ‘Depositors bypassed’ (December 10). MPC’s continued status quo on repo rates and accomodative stance is to sustain economic recovery. Since this stance will provide borrowers with cheap funds, the probability of NPA and haircuts by banks on their lending will increase.
This pro-borrowers stance by MPC is detrimental to the interests of borrowers especially with looming inflation.
Bank depositors opting for investment in gold will hamper banks’ loanable funds.
Borrowers, instead of repaying the loans on time, seek loan restructuring, one time settlement, which force banks to undertake haircuts.
Depositors are now hesitant to put their money in bank deposits and the MPC must address this issue by making balanced rate change in the repo rates.
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