Direct subsidy to farmers

Sir,
This has reference to the write up’Give direct subsidy to farmers’ (DE, August 27, 2017).The writer has suggested some practical steps to ensure that all the farmers can be assured a minimum income to keep their body and soul together even if the crops fail and thus, the no of farmers resorting to the extreme step of ending their life will be drastically reduced.Though the government has taken many steps to translate the vision of PM Modi that the farmers’ incomes will be doubled in the next five years and launched revolutionary schemes such as free Soil Health Cards to enable the farmers to fully know about the nature of their soil and application of fertilizers accordingly, there a good no of farmers, who, failing to recover even the cost of harvesting and transporting the crop to the market due to decline of prices owing to bumper crop,dump their crops on the roads.The writer has rightly remarked that for them increase in production becomes a curse.As our domestic agricultural markets are integrated with the world markets, the prices of agricultural goods is determined largely by global supply and demand and our farmers fail to get proper price for their produce.Therefore,the writer is right in  suggesting that the price of water used for irrigation be raised and cash crops such as sugarcane, ginger, banana, pepper, chillies etc which consume a lot of water and contribute to environment degradation,need  to be brought under GST and the staple crops such as wheat and barley which require less water, be exempted from the GST.Moreover, income generated from raising the price of water used for irrigation and that accrued from the GST on cash crops can be used to pay a minimum assured income to the farmers sowing staple crops so that they can sustain their lives even if the crops fail.Similarly,the agriculture income of small farmers should be tax free while that of the big farmers and corporations and those who have income from other sources besides  farm income,  ought to be declared as taxable.All these steps, if implemented properly,can go a long way in benefitting the farmers and preventing their suicides.
Yours etc…
Ashok Sharma,
Udhampur.

 

II
Sir,
DBT(direct benefit transfer)  is an attempt to change mechanism of transfering subsidies launched by the Govt. of India way back on Ist January 2013.
This program aims to transfer subsidies directly to the beneficiary through bank accounts. It can effectively address the issue of leakage and go a long way in solving and mitigating the  problem. Efficient targeting involving Aadhar linking data ensures that intended beneficiary receives the money in his account, thus helping him as well as reducing the Govt. subsidy burden. This intention is to link all Govt.benefits to Aadhar based identification of beneficiaries and to channelize the cash benefits through enabled bank accounts.
The well thought programme has started yielding results. The beneficiaries are of the view the they receive all due money without paying commission  or greasing the palms of  authorities at the helm of affairs. It is neither time consuming, nor there are so many hassles or proceedures to get what is one entitled to.
Yours etc…
Arvind Raina
Durga Nagar, Jammu

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