Inflation good for farmers, I am happy with the mehengai: Union Minister

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by Daredevil, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Inflation good for farmers, I am happy with the mehengai: Beni Prasad

    Union Minister for Steel Beni Prasad Verma Monday stoked a controversy with his comment that price rise was beneficial for farmers. The opposition pounced on his remark accusing the government of being part of the "mehengai mafia" (price rise mafia).

    The minister made the remark Sunday while talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in Barabanki, near Lucknow. Asked to comment on price rise, Verma said the government was taking steps to tackle it, but he was happy with the rising prices of food items as it was beneficial to farmers.

    "With the increasing price levels, the farmers are benefitting. Dal, atta, vegetables have all become expensive. I am happy with this mehengai. The more the prices rise the better it is for farmers," the minister said.

    His remark attracted criticism from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with party leader Shahnawaz Hussain saying that though the government maintains it is for the common man, the minister's remark showed it has "actually moved far away from the people".

    However, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was more critical, saying the government was the "Mogambo" or villain of price rise. He was referring to a popular portrayal of a villain from a Hindi film.

    "The government is the mehengai ka Mogambo. It is certain that when prices rise, when there is unemployment and farmers commit suicide... then it is but natural that the mehengai ka Mogambo will be happy," Naqvi told reporters.

    "The government has become a member of this mehengai mafia and that is why when the common man mentions price rise, they are happy."
     
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  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    It seems our government has no dearth of numb nut ministers. We have another one in the Hall of Shame for their 'foot in the mouth' comments.

    Our minister doesn't know that more inflation need not necessarily high prices for the farmers but it can also be (and mostly) due to the intermediares and middle men who hoard the food grains.
     
  4. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    He was trying to prove that he has the foot in the mouth disease.

    If this remark is sanctioned by the High Command then it is clear that Congress has lost hopes of getting the urban votes. It would be very interesting to see Vinod Sharma try to explain this statement.
     
  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    It seems Congress has unofficially 3 spokesmen on TV channels - all editors of newspapers. Kumar Ketkar of Divya Marathi, Dilip Padgaonkar of Times of India (of Gulam Nabi fai fiasco fame) and Vinod Sharma of Hindustan times. They defend Congress so shameless I wonder if there is a need for Congress to send their official spokesmen.
     
  6. lcatejas

    lcatejas Regular Member

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    Nothing going to farmer side and consumer side ... all it goes middle men and bastard like you are eating the whole cream....
     
  7. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    They are all pandering for a RS ticket. Their role model is Chandan Mitra who is a RS MP from BJP.
     
  8. captonjohn

    captonjohn Regular Member

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    Looks like Congress got enough enemies inside their party to make it's image clear for us. This is how Congress (Gareebo ke saath) thinks. Congress isn't gonna vote from anyone except some blind from head.
     
  9. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Don't worry. With this the rural votes are gone too. Do you really think farmers will believe the nonsense he said?

    The first thing they will ask is, "Where is all this money we are supposed to be getting?"

    The govt is packed with fools. A party should never have dual term in India. At least this is established with UPA II proving it right.

    He is the union minister for STEEL. Since when have farmers been growing Iron ore.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The UPA has been bitten by a suicide instinct.

    What a statement by a Union Minister to make!

    Poor Leadership at the Ministry, and if this clot is from the Congress Party, its poor leadership in the Congress Party too!
     
  11. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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Nobody can compete with Gujarat Samachar,Sandesh, Divyabhaskar in defending congress very shamelessly.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Absolutely correct.

    But this ass Sharma maharaj and Ketkar takes the cake!

    The argue with skewed facts trying to hammer a round peg in a square hole.

    Sharma smile is like a Lala at the pandsari shop, who shortsells you at the ration shop against your quota and slyly smiles to tell you that the Food Department and the Police are in his pocket!

    Just can't stand the chap.

    And to imagine he has wangled a place in the Minority Commission! Imagine a Sharma lala in the Minority Commission!
     
    ani82v and parijataka like this.
  13. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Trust me he will do it with a straight face.
     
  14. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sly is the correct word for this slimeball, sir.
     
  15. SLASH

    SLASH Senior Member Senior Member

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    The funny thing is that the farmers will buy this argument...even though their income will increase, they will be buying the same things at a higher price. Where is the nominal growth? Poor farmers don't even know how schemes like NREGA are destroying the nations economy.
     
  16. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Dear Beni Prasad, it’s govt, not farmer, who benefits from inflation

    “Beni Prasad Verma is not a particularly bright fellow,” said Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a New Delhi-based think tank, on Times Now late last night.

    The remark was in reference to Verma’s comment that “dal (pulses), atta (flour), rice and vegetables have become expensive. The more the prices, the better it is for farmers. I am happy with this inflation…Media says the cost of food has increased, but it is benefiting farmers… and the government is in favour of farmers’ profit.”

    Verma is the Union minister of steel.

    There are several logical inconsistencies in what Verma said during the course of the day yesterday. An increase in food prices and the farmer benefiting from it are two very different things. As we know, the farmer does not sell his produce directly to the consumers. His produce goes through a series of middlemen. That being the case, it’s the middlemen who buy agriculture produce from farmers, who might be gaining the most from a rise in price. And not the farmer. This has been the case in the past whenever India has seen a shortage of onions.

    But what if the farmer is benefiting from the rise in price? This means that the farmer is actually able to sell his produce at a higher price. Even then Verma’s statement does not make sense.

    It does not take into account the fact that a normal farmer does not produce all the goods he consumes. So a rice farmer may not be farming vegetables. And a vegetable farmer may not be producing dal and so on. Hence, a rice farmer might gain when the government announces a higher minimum support price for rice, but he loses out because he also needs to buy dal, vegetables, sugar and so on. And the prices of these food products have also been going up.


    If government benefits from inflation, the farmer is not the real gainer. This is something that Beni Prasad Verma either does not understand or is hoping farmers won’t understand.

    The latest inflation number based on the consumer price index was released today, and it shows inflation down marginally for July 2012 at 9.86 percent. This means that prices on the whole were up by 9.86 percent in the month of July 2012 in comparison to July 2011.

    The inflation for July 2012 was marginally down from June. Within this the food price inflation stood at 11.53 percent. It is actually up from 10.71 percent in June 2012.

    The point I am trying to make is that farmers, other than growing what others eat, also eat what other farmers grow. This is a basic fact that Beni Prasad Verma did not realise while making the statement that he did. And if food prices on the whole went up by 11.53 percent in July 2012, it surely does not benefit farmers because other than being producers of food products, they are its consumers as well.

    Now that’s one part of the argument.

    If we accept that high inflation hurts farmers to the extent they are consumers, they will cut down on their planned spending as prices rise. This, in turn, hurts businesses and the overall economy. Businesses do not like to spend money on newer projects as consumers cut down on consumption.

    So the question is who benefits in an environment when inflation is high? “The most obvious beneficiary of higher inflation, at least in the short term, is the government… The government will always be able to pay its debt, at least domestically, since higher inflation effectively reduces the long-term cost of borrowing money,” writes Kyle Bumpus in an article titled Who Benefits From Inflation?

    Let’s take a look at this statement in the context of India. The return on a 10-year government bond as I write this is around 8.22 percent. The government essentially issues bonds to finance its fiscal deficit – the difference between what it earns and what it spends.

    The consumer price inflation for the month of July 2012 has come in at 9.86 percent. What does this mean? This means that the government can effectively raise money from the market at the rate of 8.22 percent when inflation is higher. This effectively means that the real rate of interest is negative at -1.64 percent.

    This means the yield that the government offers on its bonds is even lower than the rate of inflation. So technically investors who are buying government bonds are effectively losing money. The question is why are investors then ready to buy government bonds which pay an interest rate lower than the prevailing rate of inflation?

    “Negative real rates may simply indicate that savers are incredibly cautious, and that businesses are reluctant to invest in new projects,” wrote The Economist in a recent edition. “When an economy is growing rapidly, there should be an abundance of profitable investment opportunities. Businesses are happy to borrow at high real rates, confident that they can still earn an even higher return,” it added.

    But given the state of the economy right now, businesses and savers would rather buy government bonds and lose a little money on it rather than invest it anywhere else. This demand for government bonds allows the government to pay a rate of interest which is lower than the prevailing rate of inflation. In the strictest sense of the term the government is getting paid to borrow.

    If government benefits from inflation, the farmer is not the real gainer. This is something that Beni Prasad Verma either does not understand or is hoping farmers won’t understand. It’s time he listened to the only Hindi film song written on inflation from the movie Roti, Kapda Aur Makan, written by Verma Malik, “Baakee Kuch Bacha Toh Mehangayi Maar Gayi”. If any money is left, inflation eats it up.
     

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