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With The Elections Coming Up, Indian Government Promises Farmers Their Income Support

The government said the fiscal deficit this year will rise from 3.3 percent to 3.4 percent due to the outlay for the income scheme for farmers.

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Farmers, India
An Indian woman helps her farmer husband irrigate a paddy field using a traditional system, on the outskirts of Gauhati, India, Feb. 1, 2019. VOA

With an eye on wooing voters ahead of what is expected to be a tough national election, India’s Hindu nationalist government announced cash handouts of billions of dollars for poor farmers.

In the annual budget presented in parliament Friday, interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said 120 million farmers with less than two hectares of land would get an income of $85 a year.

Goyal announced that the measure, which will cost about $10.5 billion, would be implemented with immediate effect. “This will pave the way for them to earn a respectable living,” he said. “Such support will help them avoid indebtedness.”

India, Farmers
Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, center, holds a briefcase containing federal budget documents with Junior Finance ministers Shiv Pratap Shukla, center right, and Pon Radhakrishnan, left, upon their arrival at the parliament house in New Delhi, India, Feb. 1, 2019. VOA

Farmers complain that a sharp decline in crop prices has hurt their incomes and driven millions into debt. Rural experts said they were not sure whether the measure will assuage disgruntled rural communities that have been demanding loan waivers and better prices for their produce.

The government also announced a pension scheme of about $40 a month for nearly 100 million poor workers in the country’s vast unorganized sector and tax breaks for the middle classes.

The welfare measures come as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party tries to address rising discontent in the country — there is growing anger in rural areas over falling crop prices and widespread worries that his government has failed to create jobs to meet the needs of the country’s huge young population.

The Bharatiya Janata Party recently lost elections in three heartland states, raising concerns it could struggle to win a majority in the upcoming elections. Modi had sailed to power in 2014 on the promise of creating millions of jobs.

Modi, India, Farmers
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, is garlanded by BJP leaders on the first day of the two-day Bharatiya Janata Party national convention in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

Although economic growth numbers have been good, lack of jobs has emerged as the biggest challenge for Modi. A report in the Business Standard newspaper says a government survey that has not been released pegs the unemployment rate at a 45-year high of 6.1 percent.

Expressing optimism that “India is solidly back on track and marching towards growth and prosperity,” Goyal said that infrastructure projects such as building roads in rural areas will boost employment.

The opposition Congress Party slammed the income support of $85 a year announced for farmers as inadequate. Saying that it is not going to be transformational, senior party leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “₹6000 [6,000 rupees, or $84] in income support for farmers boils down to ₹500 [500 rupees, or $7] per month. Is that supposed to enable them to live with the honor and dignity?”

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The Congress Party is also trying to woo voters with the promise of a minimum income for the poor if it wins the upcoming general election. The BJP has dismissed the pledge as unaffordable, while economists have expressed concern that the “competitive populism” by India’s two main parties ahead of general elections could strain the country’s finances.

The government said the fiscal deficit this year will rise from 3.3 percent to 3.4 percent due to the outlay for the income scheme for farmers. (VOA)

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Dell and Alienware to Launch New PC Gaming Devices to India

Dell also refreshed its G Series gaming laptops with the launch of the new G7 gaming system. With a design that is 19.9mm thin, it is the thinnest G Series laptop to date

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credit: www.news.filehippo.com

Refreshing its PC gaming portfolio in India, Dell and its subsidiary Alienware on Monday launched Alienware Area-51m, Alienware m15 and Dell G7 devices for the gamers in the country.

Originally unveiled at the CES 2019 in January, the devices have now made their way to India.

Price of Alienware Area-51m starts at Rs 299,590 and is available on dell.co.in while the Alienware m15 starts at Rs 178,399. The Dell G7 15 is available for Rs 157,399 and is also available on dell.co.in.

The new portfolio would be available in retail and multi-brand stores across the country from April 1.

“By an estimate, $1.1 billion would be the size of the Indian gaming industry by 2020. Community engagement, augmenting gaming as a profession and latest technological innovation is how we are defining the gaming landscape in India,” Anand Subramanya, Director, Product Marketing, CSB Dell India, told reporters here.

Alienware Area-51m is also the world’s first gaming laptop that supports upgradable NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics, 64GB of memory and 2.5Gbps Ethernet technology.

Dell laptops
Dell laptops. Representational image. Pixabay

“This is an exciting time for PC gaming all over the world as well as in India. We are delighted to introduce ground-breaking, high performance gaming machines like Area-51m and m15,” added Frank Azor, Vice President and General Manager, Alienware, Gaming and XPS.

Focusing on portability in gaming machines, the Alienware m15, is the thinnest and lightest 15-inch Alienware laptop, that is aimed at gamers on-the-go. A powerful machine for gamers, it has 8th generation Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 and 2070 MQ design graphics cards.

Both Alienware Area-51m and Alienware m15 offer “Cryo-Tech v2.0” — an advanced thermal technology that maximises performance and keeps these machines cool.

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Dell also refreshed its G Series gaming laptops with the launch of the new G7 gaming system. With a design that is 19.9mm thin, it is the thinnest G Series laptop to date.

Powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce 20 series RTX graphics card, and 144Hz refresh rate panel, the G7 optimises demanding AAA game titles and can also be utilised for everyday use. (IANS)