Rural distress 2018: False cures galore

Rural distress is real and its causation is shrouded in unsubstantiated myths. Finding realistic and practical solutions needs a clearing of these cobwebs, not the hubris of campaign rhetoric

Shreekant Sambrani

After the new Congress state governments announced the promised agriculture loan waivers, party president Rahul Gandhi thundered that he will not let the prime minister sleep until all agricultural loans are forgiven.  One hopes that Narendra Modi would willingly sacrifice sleep in the larger interests of the country, especially the peasantry, whose cause is now dear to all. Rural distress is real and palpable, but the many cures now proposed — most frequently, loan waivers — are not likely to make it go away. Economists (including the 13 eminent ones who recently ...