Millennium Post

Subsidy, investment to enhance agri sector growth: Jaitley

New Delhi: Stressing on improving the financial condition of farmers engaged in agriculture sector, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday put forward the move to blend subsidy with investment for augmenting farm sector growth and making it sustainable and self-sufficient.

The finance minister, who launched a book on agriculture through video-conferencing, said, "There is lot of formalisation of economy taking place in several other sectors... We can see visible results, and it is leading to additional resources in the hands of the government. I don't think this process will now be reversed."

"As resources grow, the capital and development expenditure will increase. Hopefully, the resource crunch to spend in these areas will not be there," Jaitley said after releasing a book titled Supporting Indian Farms the Smart Way.

The book is co-authored by Ashok Gulati, the former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and now a professor for agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

Making it clear that any model completely dependent on subsidy will not be a sustainable, he said, "I do see a point on blending the subsidy support with the investment because, to have a model which sustains indefinitely only on subsidy will not be a sustainable model."

The Finance Minister further said, "Investments will make farm sector self-sufficient on ground. With much lesser subsidies a self-sufficient farmer may be able to serve the cause of Indian agriculture much better."

Expressing his concern over farm sector the distress, he said, "It's a fact that those who are born and brought up in families belonging manufacturing sectors, their earning is more than those of farmers."

"Given that government expenditure in rural areas have increased manifold, we are hopeful that situation would improve. The government spending on sanitation, social security schemes, etc would help in improving the conditions of people living in rural areas," the minister said.

"We have now acquired position when we are growing much faster than the rest of the world and hopefully there are various avenues of further generating this growth. There are regions in the country that have not grown well in the past therefore there is lot of potential for growth," he said. PTI

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