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Reforms in agro-economy

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    25th Jun, 2019

PM announces panel with CMs for deep reforms in agriculture.

Context

PM announces panel with CMs for deep reforms in agriculture.

About

  • In the fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, focus was on increasing investment in the agriculture sector, boosting exports, and addressing issues of water supply and conservation.
  • The focus towards reviving the agrarian sector assumes significance as it has been witnessing low farm prices over the past few years leading to several large-scale farm protests.

Background

The fifth meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog comes in the backdrop of challenges on the economic front and rising unemployment rates (45-year high of 6.1 %).

Key Points discussed in the meeting:

  • Increasing Exports:
    • The meeting focused on the need to increase exports and explore untapped export potential in several states in order to drive economic growth and this will also provide a boost to both income and employment.
  • Need for structural reform in agriculture
    • Meeting emphasizes to focus on fisheries, animal husbandry, horticulture, fruits, and vegetables.
    • There is need to boost corporate investment, strengthen logistics and provide ample market support.
    • The food processing sector should grow at a faster pace than food grain production.
    • Scrapping of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 because it is thought to be an “impediment in the free movement of commodities” given that the country is now mostly self-sufficient.
    • Flagship schemes like PM-KISAN, should reach intended beneficiaries well within time.
  • Water Supply and Conservation
    • Promoting efficient water conservation practices with rain-water harvesting to be undertaken at the household and community level with proactive policy and investment support.
  • Aside from addressing the issue of agriculture, PM also focused on a collective fight against poverty, unemployment, flood, pollution, corruption, and violence. PM also called for effective steps to tackle drought by adopting ‘per-drop, more-crop’ strategy.
  • Meeting also underlined the need for states to focus on their core competencies and work towards increasing the GDP right from the district level so as “India can become a $5 trillion economy by 2024.”
  • PM also announces panel with CMs for deep reforms in agriculture, which would submit its report in the next few months.
  • Additionally, with parts of India experiencing drought situation, some States asked for changes in the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) guidelines. They will work with MHA and Agriculture ministry to make changes.
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