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rural distress deepens: Wage growth dips, non-farm jobs hit -Harish Damodaran

-The Indian Express The last five years, in other words, have seen a slowdown in rural wages even after adjusting for inflation, which has been far lower than during the UPA regime. Rural wages have grown 3.8 per cent year-on-year in December, the lowest ever for this month. Together with depressed farm prices — annual wholesale inflation in December was minus 0.07 per cent for “food” and 4.45 per cent for “non-food” articles — they point to an overal

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Will PM-Kisan transform India's agriculture support ecosystem? -Sayantan Bera The farm income support scheme was launched after NDA’s other flagship schemes failed to tackle rural distress The scheme promises to pay Rs. 6,000 every year to each of the 120 million farmer families in India NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the centre announced a scheme for farmers in the interim budget presented on 1 February, with just a few months to go for the general el

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The solution is universal -Rajendran Narayanan & Debmalya Nandy

-The Hindu Strengthening the MGNREGA would be more prudent than a targeted cash transfer plan like PM-KISAN rural distress has hit unprecedented levels. According to news reports, unemployment is the highest in 45 years. To allay some misgivings of the distress, one of the announcements in the Budget speech was that “vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land up to 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at

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Sociologist Dipankar Gupta interviewed by Poornima Joshi (The Hindu Business Line)

ed awareness of education being a tool for social mobility, the belief is that the private sector is better equipped. * There are now two strands of mass mobilisation: one around routine concerns (rural distress, joblessness) and another around Ram temple, Rafale, and caste. How do you interpret them? It wasn’t mass movements that led to welfare measures in other countries. Most progressive reforms in democracies have been brought about by

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With an ocean of salt -Rajeev Gowda

ions of voters. But it is instructive to see who is left out. The Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana targets land-owning farmers, when it is actually landless labourers and tenant farmers who are experiencing rural distress more acutely. As has been the pattern of this government’s budgets, they have been ignored once again. The urban poor have also been ignored. Whereas the urban middle class have got a tax rebate, which, here’s the catch, can onl

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An appeasement Budget -Puja Mehra

or is it promising — upward mobility for this class to better quality jobs over the span of their working lives. For the farmer The Modi government’s tenure has been marked by acute rural distress. Among the reasons to which it can be ascribed are legacy farm sector policy issues which no government has addressed in a meaningful way. In this, Mr. Modi’s government has been no different. The minimum support prices and procuremen

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Prof. Abhijit Sen, a former member of the erstwhile Planning Commission, interviewed by Asit Ranjan Mishra (

t before this has tinkered with direct taxes. But the middle class is quite happy about it. The second big front is the farmers. That’s a lot of money and it is packaged in a way that addresses rural distress. What is odd about the agriculture hand-outs is that Rs. 20,000 crore is put for this year. So you are actually going back and saying I want to make a payment before the budget time, which is breaking conventions of all kinds. It’s li

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Jean Dreze, the Belgian-Indian economist, interviewed by Ujjawal Krishnam (National Herald)

gain, are hard to interpret, with high farmers’ suicide rates in well off states like Kerala and Maharashtra and much lower rates in the poorer states. In my view, a more useful indicator of rural distress is the growth rate of real wages in the rural or agricultural sector. If agriculture is doing well, and productivity is increasing, you would expect real wages to rise. Further, many small farmers are also part-time labourers, and if the

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Aruna Roy, well-known social and political activist, interviewed by Jipson John and Jitheesh PM (

e too urban naxal”! Agrarian crisis * India has been undergoing an unparalleled agrarian crisis since it embraced neoliberal policies. The suicides of more than three lakh peasants, acute rural distress and rural migration in search of non-existent jobs are the major manifestations of this crisis. How does the MKSS look at this crisis? What policy alternatives are needed? There has been no comprehensive agrarian policy for two decades o

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