Raw deal for farmers -Vijoo Krishnan
The Budget lacks any serious effort to address the main issues of unemployment, agrarian distress and falling incomes, revealing a high level of official insensitivity.
A Budget during a time of recession, increasing unemployment, agrarian distress, falling incomes, demand constraint and malnutrition would have done well to first acknowledge the mess that policies have created and then taken steps to provide employment, boost rural incomes, increase purchasing power and thereby demand.
Coming amid reports that there were nearly 47,000 distress-driven farm suicides between 2014 and 2017, with a 36 per cent increase in agricultural worker suicides, the Budget was expected to, at the very least, ensure food and livelihood security for the poor. Assured remunerative prices for crops, expansion of the scope of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and social security pensions would have improved purchasing power and led to a turnaround.
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Frontline.in, February, 2020, https://frontline.thehindu.com/economy/article30818323.ece?fbclid=IwAR1uqZL5t_XSa3rILfStiwjtVaA1of2mHNDGKZZmCVoR_iRWACHsfFVduLE