Experts blame government policies for agrarian distress

Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 21

Dr Praveen Jha, professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, during a conference on “Agrarian Distress, Livelihood Challenges and Rural Development in India” at Punjabi University today, said the distress of the agriculture sector will be lessened if only a handful of recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee report are implemented. The two-day conference, which will continue till Saturday, is being organised by the Department of Economics, Punjabi University.

He said the government policies have largely been more generous with the corporate sector.

Dr Jha said the agriculture sector has always been ignored since 1991. “Efforts have been on to handover the agriculture sector to the corporate. If only 5-6 recommendations of the Swaminathan report, including providing 150 per cent MSP on C2 cost (which includes costs incurred on seed, manure, bullock and machine labour, rent paid, depreciation of assets) is provided, the farming sector will reap benefit out of it. Other important steps that can be implemented from the report include opening knowledge centres in villages and ensuring huge investment in the agriculture sector.”

He said the centre is not even 0.5 per cent serious toward the agriculture sector.

Dr Balwinder Singh Tiwana, Head, Department of Economics, added to the argument and said there seems no ray of hope for debt-ridden farmers. The two-day conference will conclude on Saturday.

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