Kirankumar Vissa writes; Everyone in the media has been talking about the slew of pro-farmer measures included in Budget 2017, how it is a Budget for the ‘have nots’ and one that will give a big fillip to agriculture. It is time to call this Budget what it is–a big prank on India’s farming community.
Kannaiyan writes: In July 2014, in his first public event as a newly-elected prime minister, Modi called for a standing ovation for India’s farmers. He wanted to craft an image of a farmers’ leader. Two years on, I’m sitting in my farm in Gattawady village, Erode, Tamil Nadu, filled with mixed feelings. Here is why.
In the Union Budget, the government has decided to exempt the new-age cesses on electric and hybrid cars. But are these green cars really green? They do not pollute the areas that they are being used in because all they are doing is move the pollution from the point of movement to the source of electricity.
Bill McKibben reports: On March 3, across the northern hemisphere, the temperature, for a few hours, crossed a line: it was more than two degrees Celsius above “normal” for the first time in recorded history and likely for the first time in the course of human civilization. Two degrees Celsius is the must-not-cross red line.
Over the past three decades, average income of the farmer has increased by only 19%, while that of the government employee has by 370% and that of the corporate sector by more than a thousand per cent… Hidden in the rhetoric of being “pro-farmer and pro-poor” are the continued logic of being “pro-investor and pro-business”.
Devinder Sharma writes: Jaitley wants the farmers to wait five years for their income to rise to 3,332 rupees a month. I can imagine the Economic Survey presented in 2022 proudly stating the success. But the reality is, by 2022, adjusting for inflation, the doubled income would be equivalent to what a farmer makes now.
Devinder Sharma writes: Arun Jaitley’s economic agenda revolves around pushing reforms in order to lift growth and create jobs. But what is not being realised is that agriculture alone – the sector that has been neglected all these years – has the potential to create massive gainful employment, build domestic demand and thereby revitalise the sluggish economy.
The Union Budget 2015-2016 will be presented in amid dwindling fortunes of the NDA government. Agriculture is already on a downswing while the economic slowdown is perceptible – all this when nine states are going to polls in 2016-17. Down to Earth presents a series of analyses of the Union Budget from the environment and development perspectives.