Farming losing sheen in northern region: Economists

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 21, 2014 12:31 IST

The latest report of the working group on issues related to growth and development at sub-national level for twelfth five-year plan (2012-17) of the Planning Commission and Central government has revealed that Punjab is one of the most developed states in the country with highest per capita real income and standards of living, and much more inclusive pattern of growth.

Atul Sood of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, said this during a round table meet on “Punjab economy of tomorrow”at Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Sector 38. He added, “Punjab can actually show the country a way to translate the high income into better distributional outcomes.”

HS Shergill, retired professor, Panjab University, presented a comparative picture of Punjab with states like Kerala and Gujarat.

He observed that GDP per capita income was a statistical construct created by economists to have a single numerical indicator of level of development of a country or state.

“The agri-business in food is making huge profits and producers of food are starving,”said Pramod Kumar, director, IDC.

He added, “The crises are much deeper. On crop diversification, there is a need to diversify the economy by a large inter-sectoral shift to high productivity flexible agriculture, and to move away from anti-grain policies.”

“Sectoral picture shows that agriculture is losing its importance with sharp slowdown and is decreasing its contribution to the overall growth. However, its performance is better than all-India picture. The service sector is gaining importance but its growth much lower rate than all-India average,”observed PU professors Lakhwinder Singh and Sangeeta Ghosh.

HS Sidhu and Prof Gian Singh said, “The economic slowdown was accompanied by declining employment growth from 2.6% during 1994 to 2000 to only 1.4% per annum during 2000 to 2012.” Suresh Kumar, financial commissioner development, Punjab, maintained, “The state does not have the autonomy to shape their policies as they are directed by the federal government.”

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