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Editorial : Efficiency for sugar, not patronage, subsidy



The Centre’s Rs 8,000 crore-plus package, including a costly buffer stock(भंडारण/सुरक्षित भंडार), for the sugar sector, stricken(चोट खाये हुए ) with over Rs 22,000 crore in arrears to farmers, is really no more than a palliative(शांति देनेवाला/उपद्रव ) adjective peacemaking

The fundamental flaw in sugar is that policy blocks integration(एकता/संघटन)of cane growing and conversion of cane into sugar. The mutual dependence of cane growers and their monopsonic buyers — cane cannot be stored and transported but must be crushed(दबाना/ कुचल दिया ) immediately after harvest(फसल/पैदावार),which means sale to the mill nearby — and the uncertainty of yearly production and demand make it logical to vertically(लंबवत /उदग्रता से) integrate growing and crushing, to avoid the protracted and costly haggling needed to find a price that leaves both farmers and the mills happy.
Populist and unrealistic state advised prices for cane kill economic viability, lead to alternating periods of glut and shortage, with the result that cane arrears are a by-product alongside bagasse.
The Rangarajan committee has recommended norms for profit-sharing between mills and farmers, as a form of virtual(वास्तविक/आभासी) integration, but that takes integrity(अखंडता/सत्यनिष्ठा) for granted in books of accounts in the long tail of small and medium enterprises that pass themselves off as sugar mills. The sprinkling(छिड़काव) of capacity is itself due to flawed policy. Far too much mill capacity came up in water scarce but subsidy-sodden peninsular(प्रायद्वीप-संबंधी) India, and not enough in the far more agro-climatically suited(अनुकूल ) Indo-Gangetic plains like those in Bihar. Sugar cooperatives would have been welcome, but the ground reality is that such structures almost uniformly underperform or worse, due to routine political interference by the powers that be. The way forward is farmer-owned producer companies and/or leasing of land by mills for growing cane. Sugar calls for efficiency(क्षमता/योग्यता), not the sugar-coating of subsidy andpatronage(संरक्षण/सहायता).

Important vocabulary

1.Palliative(शांति देनेवाला/उपद्रव )
Synonyms: calming, reassuring, alleviating, consoling, easing
2.Integrity(अखंडता/सत्यनिष्ठा)
Synonyms: honesty, principle, probity, purity, rectitude
Antonyms: deceit, dishonesty, corruption, disgrace, dishonor
3.Suited(अनुकूल )
Synonyms: appropriate, satisfactory, suitable, befitting, fitted
Antonyms: improper, unacceptable, unfitting, unsuitable,inappropriate
4.Virtual(वास्तविक/आभासी)
Synonyms:basic, constructive, essential, fundamental, implicit
Antonyms: actual, authentic, real