Business Standard

Real is radical: Drop subsidies, offer basic minimum income to farmers

You could run a sensible subsidy and price support system at a fraction of today's cost, and still have enough money left over to offer a more generous income support to all farmers, writes T N Ninan

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T N Ninan
If you take the total subsidies paid to India’s farmers, through price support on crop output and through subsidies on inputs like fertiliser, electricity, and water, and add to that outlay the direct transfer of Rs 6,000 per farmer introduced last year, the bill would comfortably cross Rs 4 trillion, or about 2 per cent of GDP. And that is without counting many elements of the subsidy regime, like that offered through low interest rates on bank loans to farmers, and the write-offs of such loans that take place with an almost predictable periodicity.
 
Since almost all these subsidies
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First Published: May 29 2020 | 9:24 PM IST

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