Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Jun 2018 12:43:31









THERE was no option for the Government but to abort its bid to sell majority stake in Air India as no bidder had turned up for a deal. And it did not require an aviation expert to spell out the reasons for nobody showing interest in buying the national flag-bearer. The reasons for disinterest by investors were clear as day light. Who would have carried the burden of the heavily indebted airliner? The Government has cited high oil prices and general trend of losses in the global aviation industry. But the fact remains that no investor was willing to risk huge investment in a losing proposition that Air India has turned out to be over years. Besides, selling a prestigious Government asset in an election year would have been a bad advertisement for the ruling party. So back to square one. The loss-making airline would continue to remain the responsibility of the state exchequer, for how long, nobody knows. In the given circumstances, the Government will have to think of giving more functional autonomy to the management to run the airlines professionally with least political meddling.


AFTER taking to streets seeking solutions for the perpetual agrarian crisis, farmers have now reached the apex court with their fight for higher remuneration and other related issues. The petition filed by Kisan Putra Andolan, a movement in Maharashtra by farmers’ activists, demanding abolition of Article 31B and Ninth Schedule, expresses the problems dogging Indian agriculture for long. In perennial financial crisis due to lack of administrative support and vagaries of nature for years, farmers now want to be kept out of Acts that dub them as ‘anti-nationals’. Their contention that the Essential Commodities Act, which on one hand makes them liable for punitive action for refusal of services, denies them a right to determine price of their products, holds merit. This has remained a bone of contention between the farmers and Governments, which always resort to the political gimmick of loan-waiver as succor. Waiving of bad loans is a myopic solution. Instead, a liberal policy allowing free market for agricultural produce can act as a major boost to farmers.