ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cotton : Monopoly Mess

The Monopoly Cotton Procurement Scheme looks increasingly like becoming a millstone around the Maharashtra government’s neck. The cash-strapped state has not been able to pay farmers yet, though procurement of cotton began on November 7. The Shetkari Sanghatana leader Sharad Joshi has launched an agitation that has spread rapidly through the cotton bowl of Vidarbha, where the government also apparently failed to open most of the proposed procurement centres. Hundreds of farmers have resorted to rail and road traffic blockades and stonepelting, catching the government off-guard. To tide over the immediate standoff and to mollify the agitating farmers, the state government has decided to release Rs 500 crore through the apex state cooperative bank. Joshi, on his part, has agreed to put off his threatened hunger strike till December 1 to allow for further talks.

Targeting and Efficiency in the Public Distribution System

This paper compares the public distribution of food in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Based on the 50th round of National Sample Survey (NSS) household consumption survey data, the authors examine differences in utilisation, extent of targeting, magnitude of income transfers and the cost-effectiveness of food subsidies. The findings suggest policy reforms in favour of self-targeting and greater operational efficiency.

Jan Sangh vs Shiv Sena

Poona: This city has two valid reasons to congratulate itself. First, the civic elections, despite the unusually noisy and vulgar canvassing, were conducted on the whole in a peaceful manner. Second, the electoral judgment is meaningful and falls in the contemporary post-generalelection pattern. No single party or alliance or front could muster an absolute majority in the civic body, which may lead one to believe that keen horse-trading is round the corner. More significant, however, is the fact that Poona has rejected the politics of fronts and alliances and has voted mostly for organised political parties of national stature.

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