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Fields of ferment -Ashok Gulati

-The Indian Express Why assembly election verdicts should occasion a rethink on loan waivers, MSP raises The results of the elections to state assemblies should be a humbling experience for the BJP. Political pundits have started analysing the verdict, since the reasons for the BJP’s defeat have important implications for the parliamentary election of 2019. One factor that is being flagged by analysts is farm distress. Farmers across the country are not...

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Agriculture ministry withdraws report that said demonetisation adversely affected farmers

-Scroll.in The ministry has issued showcause notices to three of its senior officials for submitting the report before Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal could vet it. The Ministry of Agriculture has withdrawn a report that said demonetisation affected millions of farmers in the country. The ministry cited a “compilation error” to justify the withdrawal and submitted a new report that says farmers did not face any “adverse impact” as a result of the...

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Why parties prefer freebies to investments in election manifestoes -Ashok Gulati

-Financial Express It is the season of promising freebies to lure voters. Congress leads in these promises. It has promised a loan waiver in Chhattisgarh within 10 days of coming to power; and the hiking of minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to Rs 2,500/quintal, up from Rs 1,750/quintal, a 43% raise over the already increased MSP of paddy. In Madhya Pradesh, it has promised a loan waiver of up to...

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Drought warning

-The Indian Express For governments both at the Centre and in the concerned states, the most sensible option is to act fast. After two years of relatively good rains, large parts of Maharashtra (especially the Marathwada region and the adjoining districts of Jalgaon, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Sholapur, Amravati and Yavatmal), North Gujarat, Saurashtra, Kutch and North Karnataka are reeling under drought. What is different this time is that it has been induced...

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Farmers badly hit by demonetisation, admits Agriculture Ministry -Sobhana K Nair

-The Hindu Report concedes that farmers couldn’t buy seeds due to cash crunch. Millions of farmers in India were unable to buy seeds and fertilisers for their winter crops because of demonetisation, according to a report submitted by the Union Agriculture Ministry to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. This official acknowledgement of the impact of demonetisation comes on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at a rally in Jhabua, Madhya...

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