India’s policymaker keep making dumb policies to promote agriculture in the country which leads to huge losses for taxpayers and leads to no gains for poor farmers.One such policy is to give a interest rate subsidy of 3% to farmers who have repaid their loans.This means that if you are getting a loan from the banks at 7.5% normally,you will now get it at 4% if you are a farmer who has repaid his loans.Note the condition “repaid his loan” is meant to sound as it he has great thing like saving someone from a burning building.Last time I though all loans were meant to be repaid.But evidently different rules apply to farmers who were in the election year in 2009 were given a loan waiver.The government effectively allowed the farmers to convert their loans to a grant.It was an indirect gifting of billions of dollars to farmers to get votes and it worked splendidly for the ruling Congress party.A winning idea is seldom abandoned even it leads to perverse economic outcomes.

The Government on India is proposing to introduce mandatory blending of ethanol in transport fuels to the extend of 5%.This means that the major transport fuel providers like IOC,BPCL and other will have to ensure that 5% of the petrol they sell will be mixed with 5% ethanol.The US is the biggest user of mandatory blending which has recently come under harsh criticism.The reasons given for supporting blending is that it reduces the requirements of fossil fuels which leads to lower carbon emissions,improves energy security and reduces pollution.However none of these advantages are seen in real life.In fact it has the massively negative consequence of increasing food prices which leads to the starvation of the poor globally.The Corn Industry in the USA has become a major lobbying force which makes the US government persist with the policy resulting in sharp increase in corn prices to the detriment of consumers.