Mains Paper 3: Economy
Prelims level: Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana
Mains level: Highlights of the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana
• The Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana launched by Chhattisgarh last week aims to supplement the income of the State’s 18 lakh rice, maize and sugarcane farmers by ₹10,000 to ₹13,000 per acre, through direct cash transfers.
• Besides the Centre’s PM-KISAN scheme that provides ₹6,000 to farm families owning less than five acres of land, Telangana, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have similar cash transfer programmes for farmers.
Minimum Support Price:
• For balancing the interests of the consumer and the farmer, India has an extensive Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime which works in combination with the PDS.
• But the efficiency of neither MSP procurements nor the PDS is uniform across the country.
• The Centre says it fixes MSPs at 1.5 times the cost of production for farmers, but this calculation is not free of controversy.
• Last year, several States including Chhattisgarh and BJP-ruled U.P. and Haryana questioned the Centre’s MSP calculations.
• Though food is a universal necessity, those who produce it languish at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
• These income support schemes target landowners, and bypass tenants and labourers.
• In Chhattisgarh, there is preliminary evidence that tenants managed better rates from owners last year after the government gave incentives over and above MSPs to farmers.
• The State is now designing a cash transfer scheme for landless labourers, according to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
• But these interventions are only palliative and cannot address the underlying problem, which is the non-remunerative nature of farming.
• A more market-driven approach has often been proposed as the solution, and the agriculture-related components in the Centre’s response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic appear to toe that line.
• However, many previous arguments about the agriculture economy have been rendered questionable by the pandemic.
• The food supply chain crisis in the U.S. is instructive. Considered supremely efficient, it ended up with wasted produce and unmet demand as the pandemic erupted.
• India’s agricultural management must take into account such fresh learning from the pandemic, and vulnerabilities arising out of supply chain-dependent food security.
• For now, the Centre must announce the MSPs for the current season at the earliest — late announcements have added to the uncertainties for the farmers in recent years.
• The creation of a buoyant agriculture sector will take much more, and those efforts must be made on a war-footing. Income support serves a purpose, but the farm sector needs a lot more.
Q.1) With reference to the 61st Cavalry, consider the following statements:
1. It is the only active serving horse cavalry regiment in the world.
2. The 61st Cavalry was raised in 1953 after amalgamating the horse-mounted cavalry units of the erstwhile princely states of British India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.1) Income support serves a purpose, but the farm sector needs a lot more. Comment