Topic – Indian agriculture: issues
7) Schemes such KALIA and Rythu Bhandhu indicate that there is a shift in policy from promising higher MSPs or loan waivers to direct income/investment support to farmers. Discuss.(250 words)
Why this question
The article discusses the silent shift that is taking place in welfare schemes for farmers. The farmers of India have largely been the neglected chapter in India’s growth story and the plight of the farmer is now taking centrestage. As a result, government is modifying the way it supports its farmers and the article provides very important insight in this regard.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain what KALIA and Rythu Bhandhu schemes are and thereafter explain how this marks a transformation in farmers welfare scheme from higher MSPs or loan waivers to direct income/investment support to farmers. Discuss the pros and cons of this and provide the way forward.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight the growing discontent among the farmers.
- Explain about KALIA and Rythu Bandhu scheme
- Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu scheme, which gives Rs 4,000/acre to land-owning farmers for two seasons in a year, is costing the state exchequer roughly Rs 12,000 crore per annum. It appears to have reached more than 90 per cent farmers, and yielded political dividends.
- KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme of Odisha attempts to respond to this criticism and accordingly promises to include not only land-owning farmers (up to 5 acres) but also tenants and agri-labourers. While land-owning small and marginal farmers, 30.17 lakh in number, accounting for 92 per cent of farming households in Odisha, will get Rs 5,000/family for five seasons, the tenants and agri-labourers (estimated to be 10 lakh in number) who have no land records will get one-time payment of Rs 12,500/family, and vulnerable families (another 10 lakh) will get one-time payment of Rs 10,000/family. With some support for life insurance and interest-free loans up to Rs 50,000, the scheme is likely to cost about Rs 10,180 crore over three years.
- Explain how this marks a transformation in the approach of government with respect to farmers welfare scheme
- Discuss the pros and cons of such a transformation – impact on government finances, its reach, its impact on market forces etc. Discuss how it negates the ill
effect of announcing high MSPs and unconditional loan waivers
Conclusion – give a fair and balanced view and discuss way forward.