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Two Key Numbers to Look Out for in the Upcoming Budget 2021 -Jayati Ghosh

-TheWire.in The most important concern is that of increasing public spending. There are really only two numbers to look out for in the forthcoming budget: how much did the government claim to have spent in 2020-21, and how much does it intend to spend in 2021-22. These two numbers will determine whether there is any real hope of sustained macroeconomic recovery in the near future, notwithstanding any claims of green shoots or revival...

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The pandemic is about eyes shut -Rajendran Narayanan

-The Hindu There is a resonance between Saramago’s literary world and the migrant labour distress in contemporary India The novel, Blindness, by Portuguese Nobel Laureate José Saramago, is strikingly prescient about a sweeping illness. The plot revolves around a mysterious epidemic because of which people suddenly turn blind. The thread It starts with a person driving his car who turns blind while waiting at a traffic signal. He pleads to be taken home and...

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Crop of ironies -Madhurika Sankar

-The Hindu Food security and farmer welfare are intertwined It is ironic that it took a devastating pandemic to force the government’s hand for long-overdue agrarian reforms. Amendments have been made to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The Finance Minister has urged States to dismantle the Agricultural Produce Market Committees. Several long-term changes have been made to the agricultural sector, such as fair pricing and e-trading, along with liquidity measures. The Centre...

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COVID-19: Bracing for agrarian crisis and food insecurity -Manjari Balu

-Down to Earth Distress among marginal farmers and unavailability of food to migrant labourers has been largely ignored in Union government’s economic stimulus   Agriculture and allied activities are considered ‘essential’ and officially face no restriction to harvest and supply to the market, even in the middle of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. But an agrarian crisis stemming from systemic failures needs to be considered for immediate policy response. The current distress...

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Only 10% free pulses under govt scheme distributed to poor so far -Harikishan Sharma

-The Indian Express According to sources, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), which comes under administrative control of the Agriculture Ministry, has been tasked with ensuring supply of pulses from the buffer stocks it maintains. Announced as part of the COVID-19 relief package about a month ago, free pulses — 1 kg per family — to beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) are yet to reach...

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