Is the loan waiver really a farmer saver??
Since the year 2017 at least 4 states have announced “loan waivers” to farmers. The Indian politics has been witnessing this loan waiving trend right after Mr Devi Lal introduced it in Haryana. Mr Devi Lals this experiment was largely unsuccessful which is crystal clear when the state economy broke down to nothing. Though this experiment wasn’t enough to open eyes of the government and then we had our mega farm loan waiver by the UPA.
There are two things to this situation,
As tax payers it’s our soul duty to tax honestly- This is what civic textbooks dictate. What is tax?? Tax a compulsory contribution to the state revenue by an individual for maintenance of state machinery and the individuals own benefit. But the irony we see is that in India for every ₹100 tax paid we get around ₹9 of service in return. This includes road maintainence, administrative cost and financing state policies. These loan waivers run into thousands and lakhs of crores, burning holes in the governments pocket.
In the blind pursuit of getting votes these politicians don’t realise that this money is not going to benefit the tiller. Loan waiving is a vicious cycle – first the state waived loan with the money they actually don’t have, sacrifice all the other things in the budget and then finds the state treasury empty and what we get is an increased load of taxes. After 5 years again the farmer is riddled under debt.
As a citizen and a human it our duty to help farmers because after all they are our brothers. But which one of my brother needs help – the rich one or the poor one?? How do I know that my money is helping the one who really needs it? Does the government even guarantee proper implementation?? Its high time that the government realised that its not their money its ours. We have the right over that money and we have given it for the nations development. People protest for reservation, women rights but don’t mind the utter wastage of their hard earned money? One of the problems is the awareness. A citizen must know where his money goes.
I don’t mind paying taxes until it is gets used for good.
The two problems that go with loan waivers is the implementation and then after implementation. Implementation is the greatest problem. The loan waiver always bebnefits only a certain category of farmers. People should be well aware that the small farmers mostly take loans from a moneylender not from the state bank grade 9 economics. The loan waivers have been observed to benefit only 15% of the farmers. Then there is the politics brother corruption.
The grand UP loan waiver ended up with a farmer getting just 19 paisa. Is this a joke? This is what we are paying for?The state government’s press statement itself reveals that 4,814 farmers received amounts between Rs 1-100, another 5,553 received amounts up to Rs 500 and 41,690 farmers got anywhere between Rs 1,000-10,000. All this raises a whole lot of questions, why did some farmers receive amounts in mere paise – not even a whole rupee – but let us keep that aside for the moment. Are the disbursed amounts a result of mere clerical error, was the scheme itself poorly drafted or does the Adityanath government have a cogent explanation for this cruel joke on small and marginal farmers?
The next thing is what the state does after implementation. The state needs to introduce policies that can help the poor tiller from sowing to harvesting. Just waiving loans isn’t the solution because this is just a temporary solution.
What actually needs to be done?
There are alternatives for farm loan waivers. Some that I can think of are:
- Spreading education:- What we need more than anything today is education. We can’t strive for any kind of development without educated citizens. Proper implementation needs education. Education is neeeded for introduction of scientific farming practices.
- Increasing awareness relating public banks and governmental schemes is very very important.
- Taxing agriculture is first thing that the government needs to do. For the small farmers taxing is not the right thing to do but for the rich farmers who having sucking money out of fields for years and benefiting from governmental policies it is must.
- Increase depth of dams:- one of the main reasons for the failure of crops is lack of irrigation. Less than half of the field is irrigated in India. The rest of the field is left on the mercy of rains. So we need to store as much water as possible. Promote rain water harvesting and growing trees to harbing rains is also a feasible solution.