Date:07/12/2006 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2006/12/07/stories/2006120705750500.htm
Tamil Nadu - Chennai
Utsa Patnaik, professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University (right), during a talk organised by the Indian School of Social Sciences in Chennai on Tuesday. Also seen is K. Nagaraj of the Madras Institute of Develop ment Studies. — PHOTO: S. THANTHONI
CHENNAI: The recurring suicides of farmers in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are only the tip of the iceberg of a deepening crisis in the agrarian economy, Utsa Patnaik, professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, said on Tuesday.
The agriculture sector was in regression owing to the impact of globalisation and the contribution of agriculture to the gross domestic product had gone down sharply, she said in a talk on `Question of Food Security and Poverty', organised by the Indian School of Social Sciences here.
Official claims that poverty rates were going down each year were bogus: the reality was that poverty was on the rise in many States. One of the major factors fuelling the agrarian crisis was the adoption of a policy of macroeconomic expenditure deflation (or a reduction in the State's role in development), which affected the purchasing power of the people.
Another reason was the exposing of the farmers to the "roller coaster" of global pricing and targeting food subsidies by demarcation of an artificial poverty line, which excluded large numbers of the actually poor from accessing subsidised food grains.
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