Not sweet enough

Not sweet enough

* The sugarcane farmers' protest in Maharashtra has drawn attention to the problems that have stunted the growth of the sugar industry ('Farmers' groups unite to slam Pawar', IE, November 15). Farmers demand a higher price per tonne of sugar, while sugar factories have decided to pay them a lower price. One of the major issues the sugar industry faces is poor or absent government policy. The sugarcane farmers of Uttar Pradesh had a better experience of dealing with the factories because of the state advisory price mechanism. But whether that mechanism can be replicated in other parts of the country is questionable, because the price of production is not uniform throughout the country. The agitation in Maharashtra is an opportunity for the government to come up with clearer policies for the sugar industry.

— Harkirat Singh

Patiala

No place like home

* THIS refers to 'Home Truths' (IE, November 16). One way for the government to make housing more affordable is to make land for housing available on a long-term lease, for free. The house owner would only have to spend on construction, while the land would belong to the government. The government could also free up nationalised land for construction. These measures might increase affordable housing and will also generate employment.

— Kishor Kulkarni

Mumbai

* THE rise in housing prices in recent years has made affordable housing beyond the reach of the common man. Even rents have soared. It is true that input costs have gone up, but not in proportion to the rise in prices. What has happened in the real estate sector is that inventory has been accumulating for a long time. This includes not just finished inventory, but also "in progress" projects that have remained stagnant for several months.

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