On 14th September 2012, after a long period of policy paralysis and constant controversies of corruption scandals the Indian government finally opened the Indian economy further, by introducing much needed reforms in sectors such as FDI in retail, power exchange, and aviation, etc. A major step is thus taken to bring back the Indian economy on the right track. Taking bold decisions in Indian politics has been tough due to a huge coalition based politics. Considering the vehement opposition the reforms have raised from Government´s own allies and the opposition party Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), it is doubted whether there will be again a roll back of this decision, the way it happened around 1 year back.
The reform, FDI in retail is in prime focus. This reform is expected to bring much needed infrastructure in the unorganized Indian retail sector, by bringing in foreign players and their expertise. It is projected to help in building the logistic support, which would benefit Indian farmers and in turn the Indian consumers. A large portion of Indian farm products get rotted before reaching consumers, due to the lack of infrastructure support such as efficient transport mechanisms, and cold storage facilities, etc. The farmer loses his products and earnings, whereas the consumer pays a heavy price for the remaining farm products that is able to reach the market. The only winner in current situation is the middleman, who reaps in heavy profits by exploiting this infrastructural gap by employing their own logistic services.
India is facing a huge agrarian crisis for a long time now. It would be also interesting to see how FDI in retail would help improve the growing agrarian crisis that Indian farmers face. It is estimated that nearly 2,00,000 farmers have committed suicide in India over the last 10 years due to lack of support in farming practices and resulting losses. However, the mainstream media hardly reflects this. Nero´s Guests is a story about India’s agrarian crisis and the growing inequality seen through the work of the Rural Affairs Editor of Hindu newspaper, P Sainath. More about it can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q6m5NgrCJs&feature=related
Why such stories are repeating in India, if India considers itself an agriculture based economy? Will these reforms bring answers by bringing investment and logistic support for Indian farmers is a very important aspect to be considered. Lets hope such reforms bring hope for millions of these farmers, and stories such as Nero´s guest are considered a dark past of Indian history. India´s political class has to study why such problems exists and how they can be solved by employing correct innovative means, than by using the same old ¨vote bank¨ politics based ideology to oppose any form of new ideas. Lets hope these reforms survive the political opposition and bring cheers to many of these helpless aspiring Indians, who are striving for that much needed support to better their lives.
Lets wish that the India´s political class understands the positive implications these reforms can bring, on the future of these much neglected Indians, its own farmers.