Focus on agriculture

India keenly awaits the Union Budget giving the much-needed demand and production boost for all-round happiness. The wait is for new tax policies, public and private investment in both industry and agriculture, overall growth and what strides the Government will take with the new currency.
In fact, there are bound to be aspirations on the Narendra Modi Government taking a break from the past and steering the country through a low-price, low inflationary high paced path. The corporate too is hoping for a dream Budget that would increase production by raising demands. It does want a mix of cash and other modes of transaction for resuscitating the economy.
In its list of dos, the Government must stress on agricultural investment. Farmers need storage, warehouses and cold chains, but sadly big houses have not invested in these. The Governments too in the past have talked about these but done precious little. Now it must promote big farmers to invest by providing them soft loans so that they don’t have to sell their produce in distress.
Additionally, agri-biz also needs to be given a boost through value addition and cluster-village mode. The Government can assist farmers to have funds through easy loans and that they should be given incentives (not subsidy). The shift is bound to increase rural investment, raise demand, create jobs and bolster rural economy. The tack has to change– from urban-industry orientation to rural India. And, this can be the panacea for overall development the budget pines for.
Yours etc….
Shivaji Sarkar
New Delhi