Economy

Pre-Budget talks: Jaitley assures to boost agriculture growth despite resource crunch

Richa Mishra New Delhi | Updated on November 24, 2017 Published on June 05, 2014

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with agriculture scientist M.S.Swaminathan during the Pre-Budget meeting with the representatives of agriculture sector in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Kamal Narang

Promises to raise public investment in the sector



Concern over contraction of growth in agriculture and allied sectors, which employ the largest number of people, was high on the Government’s priority list, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here on Thursday.

At a pre-Budget consultation with agriculturists, Jaitley assured them that despite resource constraints, the Government would try its best to boost the sector.

Manifesto

In its manifesto, the BJP has promised to increase public investment in agriculture and rural development and ensure a minimum of 50 per cent profits over the cost of production, welfare measures for farmers above 60 years of age, expansion of rural credit facilities, among other things. Farm sector experts flagged issues which included timely decision on minimum support price, the need for an efficient procurement policy, and timely completion of irrigation projects. Some experts also sought a dedicated television channel for farmers to spread awareness about latest technologies and other market information.

The other suggestions included use of information technology, new marketing technologies, setting up of soil health testing facilities in each panchayat, making animal husbandry a profitable occupation and strengthening agriculture research and extension facilities.

Apart from Government representatives, those who attended the meeting included MS Swaminathan, eminent agricultural scientist; S Ayyappan, Director-General, Indian Council for Agriculture Research; Ramesh Chand of National Centre for Agricultural Economics & Policy Research, Keshav Das of Gujarat Institute of Development Research; P Chengal Reddy, Secretary-General of Consortium of Indian Farmers Association; and Siraj Chaudhary, Chairman of Cargill India Pvt. Ltd.

Published on June 05, 2014
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