Price fixing of crops must help farmers

The Centre should abandon the present outdated method of price fixing of crops. Every year, the government increases the prices marginally, i.e. to the tune of 4-5 per cent only though the yearly net increase in the prices of inputs like diesel and pesticides is much higher.

This method was adopted to save the poor masses from paying more in purchasing food grains. In India, the chariot of welfare socialism runs at the cost of the poor 

Big houses earn huge profits in the business of agro-based finished products. For example, tomatoes and potatoes are normally purchased at the rate of Rs 1-2 per kg in bulk. Their finished products, tomato sauce and potato chips, are normally sold around Rs 100-125 a kg. Same is the case with maize, cornflakes, etc. Shouldn’t farmers too have a share of this huge profit margin?

Two more alternatives are worthy of consideration. One, the MRP should be fixed in accordance with the increase in price index as in the case of DA. Secondly, the dual support pricing policy should be tried in a manner that the support prices for crops for domestic use are low while those for commercial purposes high.

K.S. CHEEMA, Ferozepore



The minimum support price for Rabi crop should have been raised by at least Rs 50, not Rs 10. The inputs are increasing day by day but the output is nominal. As the farmers are going bankrupt, the old saying that a farmer is born, lives and dies in debt is becoming true.

The government should be liberal in giving subsidies to the farmers on the American pattern. Then only the condition of farmers can be improved. The agricultural scientists should strive for another revolution of minimum inputs and maximum outputs.



A loan of Rs 2 lakh taken 13 years ago would surely swell to Rs 6 lakh @ 120 per cent interest per annum. Banks charge no less. One has to examine the purpose of the  loan taken.

The root cause of rural indebtedness is the farmers’ spending on dowry, drinking, living beyond their means and getting poor returns. The farmers will have to strive for optimum yield incorporating the latest trends in farming and disciplining their lifestyle.

Major BALDEV SINGH (retd), Ambala Cantonment


To make farmers self-reliant, cooperative farming should be encouraged with assured supply of quality seeds and fertilisers. They should be properly educated and trained about the use of insecticides and pesticides. Loans for farming and non-farming vocations to the farmers and agricultural labourers should be frequently made available.

Free education, academic and vocational, to their children would help the community. A revolving fund, crop diversification, reducing dependence on the local moneylenders and formation of self-help groups can mitigate their sufferings.


Revenue stamps

Since Independence revenue stamps had been available in the post offices. Now they are available only in the Government Treasury. This has resulted in short supply.

When revenue stamps are freely available in the post offices of Himachal Pradesh, why not in Punjab and Chandigarh? The postal authorities should ensure that revenue stamps are sold in the post offices.

AMAR SINGH, Rajpura (Patiala)

ONGC dividend

The Centre has been regularly increasing the prices of petroleum products citing the ever-increasing international prices and expressing the fear of petroleum companies earning losses. But the Oil and  Natural Gas Commission is reportedly investing Rs 10,000 crore annually to set up a chain of refineries; it has released 400 per cent dividend to its  shareholders.

Other oil companies have also been releasing huge dividends. When the middle class and the poor are reeling under the burden of high prices of petrol and diesel and the interest on the small savings, bank deposits, etc., are being cut, where is the justification of allowing 400 per cent dividend to the shareholders of these companies? Has the Centre abdicated its responsibility of ensuring a welfare state?


Too many rapes

Reports of rape in buses, trains, cars, hospitals, hotels, sea beaches, open public places have become common. Our women and girls are not safe anywhere at any time. People treat the reports casually and no one is willing to fight it out as a challenge.

The punishment for rape should be nothing short of death by hanging in a public place to act as a deterrent. Summary trial of the accused should be completed within three months, failing which the investigating/ trial agencies should be held responsible.

Air Vice Marshal KULDEEP SINGH (retd), Mohali

Benami bonds

The Centre plans to issue “Benami bonds” to those depositing black money of Rs 10 lakh, one lakh and 10,000. The money will remain with the Centre for three and a half years without interest. One can withdraw after six months by paying 30 per cent tax. Loans can be taken on these bonds.

The Centre knows that crores of white money become black money in property-related transactions. The property rates have risen manifold due to the government’s bad policy. The property dealers, builders, developers and financers have joined hands to create scarcity of land. The government has allowed them to purchase huge land for building flats and selling it in the open market on high rates.

The NDA government did not allow hike in the property rates even for five years. The Left parties should prevail upon the UPA government to reduce property rates.

KARAN, Chandigarh


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