Thursday, April 10, 2008

India's farmers debts

"CONTRARY to media hype, Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s latest budget does not set a new direction. Nor does it address the huge imbalances in India’s recent growth pattern. The decision to write off farmers’ loans worth Rs60,000 crores is a belated acknowledgement of the grave agrarian crisis, which has driven 150,000 farmers to suicide in a decade. The write-off is welcome. But it’s not enough.

Sounds uncharitable? Consider that the recent problem with the Indian economy hasn’t been lack of growth. It’s lack of equity — income inequalities, and sectoral and regional disparities. The United Progressive Alliance’s last full budget was to correct this. It has failed to do so."

Praful Bidwai debunks India's debt write off. My biggest concern with the increasing food prices is that the agribusinesses capture the opportunity and that it ends creating even more disparities and inequalities.

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