Market failure: On agriculture sector reforms

The ambitious initiative of the Narendra Modi government to bring about far-reaching reform in agriculture has run into severe weather, mainly over fears that the free market philosophy at its core could spell the end of MSPs for produce that has so far been centrally procured by the government. An allied party’s Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Akali Dal) has resigned in protest, and there is a strong pushback from farmers against three Bills that seek to replace ordinances issued in June, on key aspects of the farm economy — trade in agricultural commodities, price assurance, farm services including contracts, and stock limits for essential commodities. The opposition to the Bills, particularly on trade, flows from the position, articulated by Punjab, that agriculture and markets are State subjects, and there should be no tinkering with the MSP and Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC), that form the backbone of existing trading arrangements. Several States have already

Continuity in change: On Japan’s new PM

Less than a month after his sudden announcement that he would step down due to health reasons, Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, 65, has passed on the baton to his long-term associate, Yoshihide Suga, 71. Mr. Suga promises continuity rather than change as he takes the reins. His choice is itself an indicator of that continuity: he has been Chief Cabinet Secretary since 2012, as well as the top spokesperson and a key implementer of Mr. Abe’s policies. An elected MP since 1996, Mr. Suga was Minister of State for Internal Affairs and Communications during Mr. Abe’s previous tenure in 2006-07. In his press conference after winning the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party this week, Mr. Suga said his goal is to continue with Mr. Abe’s policies and complete his goals, particularly the tasks of reviving the economy and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also retained Mr. Abe’s key cabinet choices which include the Finance, Foreign and Environment
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Another Afghan peace push and a role for India

Rakesh Sood
Comment

On the GST issue, the Centre holds the baton

Arun Kumar
Lead

Reject this inequitable climate proposal

T. Jayaraman Tejal Kanitkar

IPL, and the journey from instinct to data mining

Suresh Menon

Those subversive lines

A.S. Panneerselvan

Tales from Shivapore

Ruchir Joshi
Glory days: K. Natwar Singh (right) with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Cuban President Fidel Castro at the Non-Aligned Summit in New Delhi on March 7, 1983.
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No nervous nineties for veteran diplomats

K. Natwar Singh
Slow lane Gently pamper yourselves in the middle of nature with peace and tranquillity.
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Smitten by cottagecore

Sudha Rao
Make a great first impression handwritten in the note.
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Is the first impression the last?

Anuj Anil Narkhede
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