The budget should focus on agriculture, says expert
By The Hindu 04-Jul-2019
A major thrust has to be on agriculture since this sector is facing a lot of challenges including increasing cost of production, reduced productivity, and climatic variations. Though India is the 7th largest agricultural exporter in the world, farmers remain in distress. Farmer suicides are also on the rise, he said.
“The 2015-16 budget said that the farmer’s income will be doubled by 2022. But per capita income during the period according to NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) was ₹89,500. If this has to reach ₹1,83,000 by 2022, the sector has to have a minimum growth of 10.4% a year. But during the last five years, annual growth was only around 2%. The focus of the 2019-20 budget should be on doubling farmers’ income,” he noted. Agri entrepreneurship and start-ups should be promoted to bring more women and youngsters to agriculture.
Recently, the Union government launched a new draft education policy to give more thrust to quality education, in which State governments have a target to increase spending on education to 6% of GDP and to increase gross enrolment ratio to 50% by 2035 from 25.8%. Programs to augment the quality of education have to be launched. Therefore, the allocation for education needs to be more in the budget.
“To increase the employability of educated youths, skill development programs have to be announced. Initiatives like Make in India, Skill India, and Digital India could not provide envisaged job opportunities in the 2015-19 period,” he said.
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