The Rs 7,000-crore sugar package cleared by the Narendra Modi government on 6 June is another instance of taxpayer-funded state intervention to help farmers. The package is a palliative. Rural distress is not restricted to sugarcane farmers; the entire sector has been ailing for quite some time; and redemption is impossible without structural reforms. About half the workforce is employed in agriculture, yet its contribution in the gross domestic product is 15.5%. And things are getting from bad to worse.
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