Niti Aayog sets up task force to brainstorm on agriculture reforms

Speaking at the fifth meeting of the NITI Aayog governing council, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the setting up of a high-level task force for undertaking structural reforms in agriculture.

Modi pitched for foundational reforms in the agri-economy, leading to a complete transformation of the agriculture sector in India including strengthening logistics, produce marketing, food processing as well as changes to the Essential Commodities Act.

“The Prime Minister has announced a high-level task force to bring structural reform in agriculture. The task force will be constituted very soon. It will submit its report in 2-3 months. The emphasis is on how to increase production and marketing in the agriculture sector,” said NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar while briefing media persons about the 5th meeting of Governing Council of NITI Aayog.

Talking about how the devolution from the Centre to the State, Kumar said: “Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the devolution from the Centre to the State has increased by more than two times in the past five years from Rs 20 lakh crore to Rs 41 lakh crore.”

Various States have asked for changes in the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) guidelines. They will be working with MHA and Agriculture ministry to make changes.

“This is the first time after Independence that there is monsoon deficit continuously for five years. This year the monsoon is projected to be normal at about 96 per cent but still not 100 per cent. Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Gujarat have told the meeting about the steps taken by them,” said Kumar.

“The North East Water Management Committee constituted by the Prime Minister and chaired by me has submitted its report. It will be implemented as all north-east states have agreed to it. It deals with Brahmaputra-Barak river basin development,” Kumar said while talking about the North East Water Management Committee meeting.

Kumar said that India’s economy is to be made the US $ 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024.

“We cannot be a $5 trillion economy unless states become champions in manufacturing and exports,” Niti Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant said.

Rajiv Kumar said India’s potential to make gains in the global market should be tapped. “Given what is going on in the global economy today, this is the time we should make the effort to benefit from the gaps emerging in the supply chain in global markets.”

Abha Boyal

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