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Govt posts vacant as Pb farmers struggle

Crop diversification in Punjab is not a matter to be settled in a hurry with quick meetings (editorial “Sowing diversification”, September 24). The farmers have to be taken into confidence by educating them on arrangements being made for marketing of their produce and promotion of agro-industry.

The Punjab government is continuously making a public proclamation about free electricity supply and other agriculture inputs and subsidies. It is nagging the Centre for the pathetic condition of small farmers in Punjab.

The non-seriousness on the part of the Punjab government can be gauged from the fact that in spite of the 27.80 lakh thousand acres of area under cultivation in Punjab, many posts are lying vacant in the three crucial departments concerning farming — soil conservation, agriculture 
and horticulture.

About 1,123 posts are lying vacant in the three departments against the total sanctioned strength of 1,934 posts— 159 posts are vacant in the Soil Conservation Department, 866 in the Agriculture Department and 98 posts in the Horticulture Department.

Drought relief of Rs 5, 113 crore has been sought from the Central government to give a practical shape to the various suggestions of crop diversification. In the absence of technical staff in the three departments, the farmers cannot be given expert advice and motivated to shift to a different modes of farming.

The Agriculture Department is the backbone of governance in Punjab and the posts in this department should be filled on a priority basis.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur


The state government needs to step in with a marketing strategy, promotion of agro-industry and agri-education of farmers. It is the prerogative of land owners to finally decide what to grow in their fields and paddy growing is Punjab agriculturists’ conventional tool. Although Centre and the state government have started their planning to convince farmers for crop diversification. But before implementation of the schemes and subsequent adoption by farmers, meticulous planning is required. Will the governments make good the losses incurred by farmers in case cash crops do not yield as expected? How good will be crop insurance? Will the farmers get reimbursements of their less paid crops other than paddy? How will the soil become proactive in case pulses are grown? Will the governments continue to subsidise seeds, agri-apparatus, pesticides etc? There are several queries in the minds of farmers which need to be answered, and their worries multiply when bad weather conditions hit their fields.


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Political puzzle

To have a quintessential politician like Mulayam Singh Yadav is a rarity in current Indian politics. Mulayam has no pretension to an honest and fair degree of manipulation. When he led Mamata up the garden path over the presidential election, the Chief Minister of West Bengal was not fooled a bit. The drama of the Third Front is on similar lines and his monologues have less to do with its formation and more to keep in touch with friends and foes alike. One can never foretell how the political puzzle gets to be set out tomorrow. The way the BJP is languishing, come 2014 and Mulayam is clearly laying his bet on the Congress.

R. NARAYANAN, Ghaziabad


The editorial “Back at the wheel” (Sept 22) has rightly said that the Congress has shown unusual courage in turning a crisis into an opportunity. It is unbelievable why the Congress was cowed down by Mamata’s threats while it had already shown extraordinary courage earlier in respect of the nuclear deal. Fear of government’s fall was a far-fetched idea because no political outfit would favour mid-term poll when the people’s anger is bursting at the seam and the political scenario is uncertain.

The decision of the Congress to part ways with TMC has certainly facilitated launching of economic reforms. It has also exposed hollowness of the Opposition’s threat to destabilise the government. After stalling Parliament, followed by the All India bandh against FDI, the Opposition has failed in its mission to mislead the masses against economic reforms.

R M RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Common man in despair

With almost all political parties busy beating their own drums and fixing responsibility, the common man seems to have been pushed to the edge. The erstwhile Team Anna suffered a setback with Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal and associates parting ways. There seems to be a deeper conspiracy by some forces keenly interested in distracting the anti-corruption move.

The people have become too tired of the prevailing suffocating atmosphere in the country. The government’s lieutenants have added fuel to the fire by advocating that just Rs 24-26 is quite sufficient for the common man to manage his/her daily affairs. People are expecting some ‘avatar’ of God to get us out of this deep morass.




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