Loan waiver to farmers is an unavoidable social cost
B. K. Datta
More than a month now Mr. Chidambaram delivered his Budget speech on the floor of the Parliament. Soon after his deliberation a ritualistic debate was started by the politicians and a few elite group of public to prove him wrong in few areas of dynamic decision making. The firing line was drawn mostly on two counts 1) Loan waiver to the farmers involving Rs. 60,000 crores of exchequers money without maintaining required transparency in the budget document 2) Lowering the growth rate due to unabated inflationary pressure.
Critics have obliquely blamed Banks for all miseries of farming community in present circumstances. One should not misread the role of Lending Institutions in financing Agricultural operation in our country. Banks are no way responsible for crop failure due to any reason what so ever Farmers borrow money to purchase various inputs like Seed, Fertilizers, pesticides, Irrigation water etc for raising crops. Regulatory controls to ensure quality of those inputs were never in the hands of the Banks. BDO offices and Panchayet bodies are having quasi judiciary power to ensure their availability and regulate standard of quality Farmers have been borrowing funds either from Banks/Primary Agricultural Co operative societies or Private money lenders from ages and crop failure in Indian Agriculture is almost a regular phenomena. In earlier days, farmers were hardly resorting to commit suicide in such a large scale for not being able to repay their debts in time. Therefore, diagnosis of the root cause for such large scale suicide by the farmers might have been misdirected and people are unable to get hold of the real reasons Crop failure in Vidharva was mainly due to very bad quality of seeds and menace caused by Cotton bole worms, a deadly pest for cotton crops. Moreover, due to absence of proper market, farmers were forced to sell...