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Centre, states committee to suggest structural reforms in agriculture

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on June 15, 2019 Published on June 15, 2019

PM Narendra Modi chairs the fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 15, 2019. Also seen are Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and NITI Aayog Vice-Chairperson Rajiv Kumar.   -  PTI

In his closing remarks of 5th Governing Council meeting of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India), PM Modi said that this committee would include some Chief Ministers as well, and would take a holistic approach on the subject

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced setting up a high powered committee on structural reforms in agriculture.

In his closing remarks of 5th Governing Council meeting of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) here, he said that this committee would include some Chief Ministers as well, and would take a holistic approach on the subject, including allied activities.

The Prime Minister said global circumstances currently offer a unique opportunity to India. He said India is establishing itself on global benchmarks such as Ease of Doing Business. He said that the both Centre and States should endeavour to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024, at the earliest. The Prime Minister said that for this purpose, States should aim to increase their economy by 2 to 2.5 times. He said the common man's purchasing power would increase as a result of this. He called upon Chief Ministers to study the State's export potential, and work on export promotion.

The Prime Minister said that the mining sector can provide significant employment opportunities. He said that bottlenecks in operationalization of mines continue to exist in several States. He said the NITI Aayog is working on these issues.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Modi on called for integrated efforts towards water conservation and management. This statement has come at time at a when water level in major reservoirs has dipped to alarming level. According to Central Water Commission, as per reservoir storage bulletin dated June 13, live storage available in these reservoirs is 29.189 BCM, which is 18 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The total live storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM which is about 63 per cent of the live storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country.

He said that poor bear the brunt of insufficient water conservation efforts. He hoped that the newly created Jal Shakti Ministry will help provide an integrated approach to water. He urged States to also integrate their efforts towards water conservation and management. He said management of available water resources is a vital imperative. He said that the aim is to provide piped water to every rural home by 2024. He said attention has to be given to water conservation, and raising the water table. He appreciated the efforts made by several States towards water conservation and management.

He said rules and regulations, such as model building bye-laws, also need to be framed for water conservation and management. He added that district irrigation plans under the the PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana should be implemented carefully. The Prime Minister called for effective steps to tackle drought. He said that the spirit of per-drop, more-crop needs to be promoted.

Doubling of Farmers’ Income

Reiterating the Union Government's commitment to double incomes of farmers by 2022, he said this requires focus on fisheries, animal husbandry, horticulture, fruits and vegetables. He said that the benefits of PM-KISAN - KisanSammanNidhi - and other farmer centric schemes should reach the intended beneficiaries well within time. Noting that there is need for structural reform in agriculture, the Prime Minister spoke of the need to boost corporate investment, strengthen logistics, and provide ample market support. He said the food processing sector should grow at a faster pace than foodgrain production

SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas

Recalling the recent General Elections as the world's largest democratic exercise, the Prime Minister said that it is now time for everyone to work for the development of India. He spoke of a collective fight against poverty, unemployment, drought, flood, pollution, corruption and violence etc.

The Prime Minister said that everyone at this platform has a common goal of achieving a New India by 2022. He described Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and PM Awaas Yojana as illustrations of what the Centre and the States can accomplish together.

The Prime Minister said that empowerment, and ease of living, have to be provided to each and every Indian. He said the goals that have been set for the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, should be accomplished by October 2nd, and work should begin in earnest towards the goals for 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence. The Prime Minister stressed that the focus should be on collective responsibility for achieving short term and long term goals.

$5 Trillion Economy

He said that the goal to make India a $5 trillion dollar economy by 2024, is challenging, but can surely be achieved. States should recognise their core competence, and work towards raising GDP targets right from the district level. Noting that the export sector is an important element in the progress of developing countries, he said both the Centre and the States should work towards growth in exports, in order to raise per capita incomes. He said there is immense untapped export potential in several States, including the North Eastern States. He said a thrust on export promotion at the State level will provide a boost to both income and employment.

Aspirational Districts

Turning to aspirational districts, the Prime Minister said that the focus should be on good governance. He said improvement in governance has led to remarkable progress in several aspirational districts. Giving several examples, he said out-of-the-box ideas, and innovative service delivery efforts in some of these districts have also delivered outstanding results.

The Prime Minister said that many aspirational districts are affected by Naxal violence. He said the battle against Naxal violence is now in a decisive phase. He said violence will be dealt with firmly, even as development proceeds in a fast-paced and balanced manner.

On the health sector, the Prime Minister said that several targets have to kept in mind, to be achieved by 2022. He also mentioned the target of eliminating TB by 2025. The Prime Minister urged those States who have not implemented PMJAY under Ayushman Bharat, so far, to come on-board this scheme at the earliest. He said health and wellness should be the focal point of every decision.

Published on June 15, 2019

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