Saturday, November 12, 2011

Debt-ridden Kingfischer Airlines to get a bailout package; indebted farmers are left to die.

Kingfischer Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya is in trouble. His airline awaits an emergency rescue. Kingfischer Airline suffered a loss of Rs 1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a mounting debt of Rs 7,057.08 crores. With banks reluctant to give more cash to Kingfischer Airlines, Vijay Mallya has turned to the government.

Civil Aviation minister Vayalar Ravi has been quick to make a public pitch to bailout the debt-ridden company. "I will meet the Prime Minister on his return to the country," he told the Indian Express. "I will also talk to the Finance Minister so that some assistance from the lead banks is granted. Closing down the flights affects the travelling public".
Ironically, in the past one month more than a hundred farmers have committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh, Vidharba and Kerala. All these farmers took the fatal route to escape the humiliation that comes along with mounting indebtedness. According to the National Crime Records Bureau 15,964 farmers committed suicide in 2010 alone. Put together, more than 250,000 farmers have taken their own lives during the past 15 years. Growing indebtedness had pushed them to the brink.

I haven't seen any urgency on the part of the successive governments or the policy planners and mainline economists to provide a bailout package to the beleaguered farmers. I don't understand why the serial death dance in the countryside does not evoke any reaction while all hell breaks loose when a big company goes bankrupt. Aren't the poor farmers human beings? Why is that they don't need even a word of sympathy whereas all aviation experts/planners and economists are making a strong pitch for bailing out a debt-ridden airline?
Devinder Sharma in Ground Reality. Here

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