|Saturday, July 29, 2000,
Agri-policy aims at
4 pc growth
NEW DELHI, July 28 — The country’s first national policy on agriculture aims at a growth rate in excess of 4 per cent per annum in the next two decades.
According to the policy, appropriate measures will be adopted to ensure that agriculturists by and large remain outside the regulatory and tax collection systems. Farmers would be exempted from the payment of capital gains tax on compulsory acquisition of agricultural land.
Setting the new areas of thrust, the policy, presented to Parliament by Agriculture Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, lays emphasis on sustainable agriculture, one that is technically sound, economically viable, environmentally non-degrading and socially acceptable.
A long-term perspective plan for sustainable rainfed agriculture through watershed approach will be vigorously pursued for the development of two-thirds of India’s cropped area which is dependant on rains.
Development of animal husbandry, poultry, dairying and aqua culture would receive a high priority.
The policy also proposes to establish a national seed grid to ensure the supply of seeds especially to areas affected by natural calamities.
Several incentive schemes have also been listed for the agriculture sector and these include:
Measures to increase investments in the agriculture sector include a time-bound strategy for the rationalisation and transparent pricing of inputs to encourage judicious input use and to generate resources for agriculture, a conducive climate would be created to promote farmers’ own investments as also investments by industries and private sector.
A comprehensive insurance policy has been planned for farmers under which they would be insured right from sowing of the crops to post-harvest operations, including market fluctuations in the prices of agricultural produce.
Minimum support prices policy for major agricultural commodities is to be continued and the food, nutrition and other domestic and exports requirements would be kept in view while determining them.
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