The series of farmers’ loan waivers by different states has focused attention once again on farmers and the economics of farming, however the economics of inputs and input subsidies have gone into the background. On the other hand, discussions around electricity subsidy for agriculture are often centred on the impact of these subsidies on the finances of the distribution companies, and on the sustainability of groundwater. The power sector discourse has largely ignored the crucial place of agriculture in the country - ensuring food security and providing livelihoods for most rural people. This article discusses how the strong and complex linkages between electricity, water and agriculture sectors need to be taken into consideration to understand and address issues around subsidized electricity to agriculture.
A variant of this article was published in the Hindu BusinessLine on 21st January 2019.