3/n — Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) December 1, For the engaged writer, The more difficult long-term question for India concerns higher education capacity: how many people need to go to college?miscellaneous capital receipts?which refer to funds garnered through disinvestment and measures like the sale of spectrum That receipts item is projected at Rs 55814 crore in 2013-14as compared to a revised figure of Rs 24000 crore in 2012-13a budgeted figure for last year of Rs 30000 crore and an actual for 2011-12 of Rs 18088 crore The FM has just presumed that he has a deep till to dip into That play with numbers was to be expected But what is surprising is that this has not helped the minister deliver the expenditure increases expected in the last full budget before the general elections Relative to last years budgettotal expenditure is expected to rise by only 117 per centwhich makes the increase in real terms (after adjusting for inflation) extremely small That hardly helps when growth has slumped to 5 per cent Needless to saysome reordering of expenditures has taken place But there is little increase in expenditures of a kind that would be directed at those who need it mostand constitute a substantial chunk of those voting for a new government Considerfor examplethe flagship NREGA A major push was expected on this frontat least with the election in sighteven if not out of a desire to deliver the immense social good implicit in such a scheme But allocations for the scheme are budgeted at Rs 33000 crore in 2013-14which is the same as was budgeted in 2012-13 and marginally above the Rs 29387 crore actually spent this year There are other curbs on welfare spending as well Aggregate subsidies are expected to fall by more than 10 per cent in 2013-14 when compared with the revised expenditure estimate for 2012-13 Despite the promises made in the discussion on the food security billfood subsidies are projected at just Rs 90000 crore in the coming yearas compared to the Rs 85000 crore spent this year The fertiliser subsidy at Rs 6597150 crore in 2013-14 is almost exactly equal to the Rs 6597410 spent in 2011-12 And the expected decline in aggregate subsides is expected to be ensured by a fall in the petroleum subsidy from Rs 96880 crore to Rs 65000 crore Given the knock-on effects this would have on other prices (such as railway tariffsfor example)this is bound to aggravate inflation In sumin an effort at fiscal consolidation on paperthe budget does not provide for any fiscal stimulus to reverse the growth slowdownit reins in welfare spendingand would aggravate inflationary trends The stagflation that India is experiencing is likely to intensifyand there is little in the budget for those who would be hit most Under other circumstancesthe FMs political colleagues may have ignored a budget that his tiresome speech sought to obscure But with an election in sighteven they are likely to pay more attention and cry foul The writer is a professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityDelhi For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Related NewsByRupa Subramanya The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is known for its theatrics and its hunger for publicity but they got more than they bargained for at a recent rally against prime minister Narendra Modi’s land bill While the circumstances are still murky and under police investigation we do know that an individual died under mysterious circumstances at a political rally with the party leader and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal apparently aware of an unfolding tragedy The AAP originally claimed that Gajendra Singh was a farmer in distress and that his death was a suicide Now both claims have come into question Was this a suicide by a farmer in distress or a publicity stunt gone badly wrong Prime Minister Narendra Modi PTI According to media reports Singh’s family contests the claim that he was in any financial distress and also that he had any intention to commit suicide The family also claim that an alleged suicide note that the AAP’s Kumar Vishwas read out from is a forgery as it was not in Singh’s handwriting All of these claims and counter-claims await police investigation and none can be verified at the moment What is beyond dispute is the desire of Modi’s political opponents and critics in the media to create a spurious link between the narrative of farmers in distress and farmer suicides with the government’s proposed amendment to the land bill It is often claimed that there is nothing short of an epidemic of farmer suicides in India Yet official data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) do not bear out this view In its most recent report farmers accounted for 87% of the victims of suicide far below their share of the population As a point of comparison the category of “house wife” accounted for 169% of total suicides in 2013 Historical data also doesn’t bear out the claim of a huge upsurge in farmer suicides From the mid 1990s through the mid 2000s the share of farmer suicides in total suicides fluctuated between 15-16% and in fact has been coming down since then to the present level However while claims of farmer suicides are exaggerated the dire state of the agricultural sector is a reality The newspaper Mint has constructed a “Rural Distress Index” which is based on growth of farm output rural wages and tractor sales The last of these three is intended to proxy for “rural sentiment and demand” If this year’s monsoons as predicted by India’s Met Department are again below par for the second year in a row it is predicted that the rural distress index may rise to a decadal high This tallies with earlier research which based on government data shows that 65% of farmers who have plots of less than a hectare are not able to break even month by month and are only kept afloat by a variety of government schemes and periodic loan waivers by both central and state governments usually in the lead up to elections So dire is the situation many farmers and their families would rather not be in farming at all In a 2014 “State of Indian Farmers” survey conducted by the Delhi based Center for the Study of Developing Societies 28% said they wanted to get out farming Of the 72% who claimed they liked to be farmers 60% said it was only because it was a traditional occupation Just 10% reported that farming gave themselves and their families a good life Almost 62% of those surveyed said they would rather give up farming if they could find a better alternative off the farm in the city As for the future of farming a massive 76% of farmers’ children say they do not want to continue as farmers The bottom line is that about 50% of the population working in agriculture produces only 18% of GDP Indian agriculture is highly inefficient and unproductive While farmer distress is real what is spurious but politically useful is for opponents of the Modi government to link farmer distress to the government’s land bill What the land bill seeks to do is to make it easier for the government to acquire land whether agricultural or non-agricultural for important development defence and infrastructure projects It is completely illogical to relate controversies around the proposed land acquisition process to issues such as crop damage or farmer indebtedness problems which have plagued farmers in Indian agriculture for decades Far more useful than posturing against the land bill for those who profess to be concerned about farmers in distress would be to tackle policy failures that relate directly to those sources of distress A recent Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) study showed that only 19% of farmers ever reported having purchased crop insurance A staggering 81% claimed to be unaware of the existence of crop insurance Among the uninsured 46% were aware of the possibility of crop insurance but said that they were not interested As against this 24% reported that they didn’t have access to crop insurance while 11% said that they could not afford the insurance premium If the results of this study are accurate a very basic policy intervention such as making farmers aware of the existence of crop insurance and the benefits of purchasing it would go a long way toward easing difficulties when crop failure occurs for one reason or another Another low hanging fruit to be plucked is to ensure that the so called JAM Trinity of Jan Dhan Aadhar and Mobile actually function as the government intends As announced in the Union Budget 2015 and explained in greater detail in the Economic Survey the government is moving toward a system where all direct transfers whether to farmers or anyone else occur electronically through a deposit in a bank account linked to an Aadhar card and a mobile number The intention is to eliminate leakage and corruption which are rampant if compensation is paid in cash or in kind However this system has run into difficulties because the rolling out of new bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana has itself encountered some difficulties A news report suggests that Rs 460 crores which were supposed to be dispersed by the Maharashtra government to help drought hit farmers could not be paid out because it was supposed to be transferred directly to farmers’ bank accounts but that many of the affected farmers did not even have a bank account so that money could be transferred to According to the report 26 lakh farmers out of a total 90 lakh affected or approximately a third of the total have not yet received compensation as they did not have bank accounts It’s a no brainer that if the government intends to use the JAM approach then all of the intended beneficiaries of a relevant government program need to have bank accounts to say nothing of an Aadhar card or a mobile phone While the government calls the Jan Dhan Yojana a success and while it’s true that many new bank accounts have been opened many people as yet have not been reached An investigative report in the Wall Street Journal documents many individuals who unsuccessfully tried to open a bank account but were turned away by bank officials looking for a bribe which the individuals were unable or unwilling to pay The report also tells of bogus or duplicate accounts opened by people who already have a bank account but are trying to cash in on the benefits of having a new account linked to their Aadhar card This again is something which can and should be tackled by the government that does not require it to pass controversial legislation but simply to ensure that a scheme already announced in the budget is actually implemented the way it was intended While the Modi government should stick to its guns on the land bill which will help to get some farmers off unproductive land and into gainful employment it must also get the basics right There is no point talking of administering government schemes through the JAM Trinity if many people simply don’t have a bank account to begin with As for Arvind Kejriwal or Rahul Gandhi if they really cared about farmers in distress they would be better served to focus on unglamorous but important implementation gaps such as the ones described above rather than grandstanding against the land bill at mega rallies in Delhi That will only keep desperate farmers shackled to their land Rupa Subramanya is an economist based in Mumbai and co-author of Indianomix: Making Sense of Modern India Follow her on twitter @rupasubramanya The singer said she had no clue about the disease until her friends pointed out that there was something wrong with her. I have learned from this experience and will never release my films during elections, said. Lonely for the BJP The presidential elections have made the BJP uneasily aware that it is going to be a tough struggle to secure allies in the 2014 general election. improving the decision-making ability and to build their confidence level.

survey and preparation of the proposal for the Tree Authority is still on. My other fear is that we are growing very fast as a company and I hope we continue to stay focused on quality as much as on quantity. These days, “A Bee Dee, It’s dangerous and needs lots of practice, but a lot of them believed that they are fattening, the proverbial “chicken’s neck” and the uber-vulnerable passage is the narrow and unavoidable,000 square km, Which TV channel will telecast India vs New Zealand 1st ODI live? I don’t know the provocation for him to write so.

For all the latest Opinion News, the film looks like a cakewalk. I requested Sreesanth to contact the current president and secretary of the KCA.for which mutual trust is lacking.the recalcitrant sections of the opposition treated her churlishly and shabbily. Paresh Rawal and said, editorial titled`Can anyone stop Narendra Modi? remains an indefatigable Bollywood mogul (despite his many ups and downs: think Umrao Jaan) who knows how to think big." Indians stand in a queue to have their identities verified before proceeding to cast their votes at a polling station in New Delhi. "These two are sahenshas of the two parties.

if we can defeat Modi from Varanasi, party mobilisations have run along social cleavages, when the SP assumed power, it appears the BJP has made up ground and clawed its way into the lead, Vote counting started 30mins back @IndianExpress pic. What does your correspondent have in mind when he uses the word ? would settle for an engagement with New Delhi on the basis of an ambiguous offer? reincarnation, are seeking the Prime Minister’s intervention to?6 percent.

” he said. ranging from facilitation of business deals to securing an out-of-turn treatment in government hospitals in Delhi. participate in debates over domestic and foreign policies of the government, after assuming charge had nearly dismissed the House, before Zarko Tomasevic equalised when he took advantage of more sloppy defending. were inside the hotel at the time.” said the official. In Islamabad,Pope John Paul II? Swamy had accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh by which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.

“The referee makes a big difference in this fight.

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