Agriculture May Soon Enjoy Industry Status: Nirmala Sitharaman

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By  Prabodh Krishna

Mumbai : On the background of continuous farmers’ protests and a special three years agricultural development cooperation between India and Israel, it seems that farmers’ have their voice audible everywhere.

On the fourth banking and economics conclave of state bank of India at the economic capital of nation, the Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman had hinted that agriculture may soon get the suitable industry standard.

In Mumbai she said, “I am in favour of an according industry status to agrarian system”. This may make agriculture benefited with advantages of industry and agrarian economy may soon enjoy industry benefits.

Commerce Minister had also termed it “A sector with more than half of national population still involved directly or indirectly, hence it should be benefited”. She continued reminding “The policies that opened up its doors in foreign direct invest of plantation crops (for instance orchards of citrus fruits)”.

She added that if such investment can be opened up for plantation crops, then she is very hopeful to open entire sector for industry benefits and it may give a huge boost to the agrarian economy. She looked hopeful that agriculture can be a strong export opportunity for India and exports can touch new heights with agriculture. These were the main reasons why she looked very hopeful for speaking in favour of agriculture as an industry.

This may give a sigh of relief to aggrieved stakeholders in agriculture, who were dissatisfied with multiple statements for economists like, the famous quote by economic advisor to PM where he said “It’s not practical to do agriculture in India”.

Few other experts have already raised questions on non-taxing the agrarian income. Though there are flaws in classification of source of agrarian income, which made many smart people cheat the states by hiding their unfair income on the name of agriculture.

Union government that had already listened to a harsh comment by Supreme Court of India for involving Niti Aayog in every matter may come on front foot with the new strategy. Prime Minister had made it clear that his government is seriously working upon doubling the farmers’ income by the year 2022.

But continuous demands of full loan waivers and better prices for agriculture produces, push the union and provincial governments back. Supreme Court in May this year had also asked for farmers’ distress and suicide status where more than 12000 suicides are reported every year since 2013.

Farmers’ union though are clearly divided this time and many of them do not agree with steps taken by concerned governments’. As many as four states have waived off farm loans but the recent protest by another farmers’ union at Jantar Mantar had the demand of unconditional loan waiver once again.

Source: BW Businessworld

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