I am not sure how the government and the bureaucrats function in this great country. Do they even think of the pros and cons of their actions and the decisions they take before they make them into laws? Programs such as Free Power for farmers or the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) have caused more grief to the farmers than good. These popular programs are going to be a big drain on the tax payers’ money and I am not even sure if it is taking the country in the right direction to prosperity. This is not even like the Robin Hood style of robbing the rich to pay for the poor. It is robbing the working middle class to pay for the lazy people.
One may ask how anything free can be bad. Anything given free is probably not very useful to the giver and most likely not very useful to the receiver either. Otherwise wouldn't you think it may have ended up on eBay? The free power supply is so random and so erratic that it is almost impossible to predict when this 7 hours of free power is supplied and in how many installments. I am an IT professional turned farmer now, and I have to face the music. The free power supply is not very useful if it is not provided when it is really needed. It is difficult these days to engage farm workers, and when you do, you have no power supply. Without power there is no water and without water it is difficult to do paddy transplantation or for that matter any farm activity.
Adding to these power woes, the cost of employing farm workers has gone up significantly since the implementation of NREGS. I am not saying that the farm workers should not be paid well. The problem is that the NREGS program is making people lazy. The projects taken up under this program are not goal oriented and the quantity or quality of work is not even measureable. Now, why would someone work hard in the fields when the government is providing guaranteed income without much hard work? How could a nation develop if its elected government is making the countrymen lazy?
Tilling the soil and producing food is hard work. I know it, because I am doing it. I think farmers like teachers, are the least paid in this country, and hence they are fewer and fewer people opting for these professions. In my opinion, farming and teaching are two noble professions that are not taken very seriously. Without farmers we will not have the food to eat and without teachers we probably would still be living in the jungles.
These popular schemes originally designed to abate farmer suicides are probably going to make the farm produce cost dearly to the consumers or cause more farmer suicides because of the increased cost of production and the debt (death) trap the farmers are getting into. I wish it to be the former so there is equitable distribution of the wealth. Why should a software engineer working in an air-conditioned office acquire more wealth than a farmer sweating in the sun? The day when farming becomes a viable profession and when a farmer is looked up with equal importance to that of a white collared professional, the migration of people from rural areas to cities will automatically stop. Both rural and urban areas can peacefully co-exist with mutual respect.
So for the people in power and for the people who are making these decisions, I want the schemes designed to truly help the farmers have a better life and better income. The schemes should provide incentives for the hard working and not the hardly working people.