Agri reforms important; repeal of 3 farm laws a setback for doubling farmers’ income: Niti member Ramesh Chand

Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand said on Sunday that the repeal of three agricultural laws is a ‘setback’ to higher price realization by growers

Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand said on Sunday that the repeal of three agricultural laws is a ‘setback’ to higher price realization by growers

Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand stressed that reforms are necessary for the agricultural sector and said on Sunday that the repeal of three agricultural laws is a ‘setback’ to higher price realization by growers and could be a factor in achieving the goal of doubling the production rate. farmers’ income in 2022.

He also suggested starting new consultations with states to resume the agrarian reform process, adding that some people have already approached Niti Aayog with a call for the reforms to be implemented.

“You see, reforms are important for the agricultural sector. Some farmers were against it (three agricultural laws)… I think what needs to be done immediately is to resume new consultations with the states,” said Niti Aayog member, who oversees agriculture. policy at the government think tank, told PTIA in an interview.

“People are already coming to us that reforms are needed. But in what way, in what form, in what form, I think we have to wait a while,” he added.

Mr Chand answered a question as to whether the stalled reforms for India’s agricultural economy will receive new impetus after the BJP’s victory in four states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur – in the recently held parliamentary elections.

When asked whether it is possible to double farmers’ incomes by 2022 without applying the three agricultural laws, he said reforms are needed to allow farmers to get better prices. farmers.

“So up to that level there will be a setback for that goal (doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022),” he said.

The NDA government led by Narendra Modi has set a target of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022.

The Center announced legislation on December 1, 2021 to repeal the three agricultural laws that thousands of farmers had protested against for more than a year.

These three agricultural laws were: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

When asked about the growth of the agricultural sector, he said it will be around 3% in the 2021-2022 financial year.

Mr Chand added that he expects agricultural sector growth to improve in the current fiscal year if monsoon and other conditions remain favorable and do not turn unfavorable.

Responding to a question about high inflation, the eminent agricultural economist said this is always a concern for the government.

“The government is taking several measures that if there is inflation because of real shortages, we are trying to increase the import of legumes from edible oils.

“But the seasonal factor also plays a very important role in the emergence of vegetables and the prospects for importing vegetables are almost excluded,” he explains.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised its current fiscal year retail inflation projection to 5.7% from its previous forecast of 4.5%

Retail inflation reached an eight-month high of 6.07% in February, remaining above the comfort level of the RBI for the second straight month, while wholesale price-based inflation rose to 13.11% on the back of the hardening of the RBI. crude oil and non-food item prices.

Mr Chand also pointed to the impact of global factors on the rising prices of various commodities in the domestic market.

“So now that the price of fertilizer is going up, the price of diesel is going up, that means the price of transportation will also go up, the cost of production will also go up,” he noted.

The Niti Aayog member claimed that the government is trying to mitigate the effect of these global factors.

As an example, he said that the price increase of fertilizer with diammonium phosphate (DAP) was largely absorbed by the government.

“And in the case of urea, the government is absorbing all of the price increase, but there will still be some increase,” he said, adding that this is due to the transfer of global factors.

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