Economists expressed concern over the deteriorating Punjab economy on the second day of the 51st Indian Econometric Society conference at Punjabi University here, on Saturday.
Speaking about the challenges in the agricultural sector, RS Sidhu, professor at the Agriculture University, said though Punjab had successfully met the challenges of food security, but in doing so, it had landed itself into serious economic and environmental problems.
"The diversification of crops and its promotion as secondary agriculture will not only boost agricultural economy but also help save the environment," Sidhu said.
He stressed upon the role of the state in assuring marketing of alternative crops at remunerative prices and strengthening of supply chains to motivate Punjab farmers.
Professor Sukhpal Singh from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, emphasised on achieving agro-industrial development in Punjab.
He pointed out that there were several national as well as global effects which hindered or facilitated development.
"There is an urgent need to reorient the existing mechanism to bring about the desired type and level of agro-industrial development in Punjab," Singh said.
Upinder Sawhney from Punjabi University spoke on sub-national fiscal issues with special reference to Punjab, pointing towards fiscal deterioration in most states of India.
"Populism has taken precedence over reforms, leaving a lot to be desired in terms of fiscal consolidation and reforms. Fiscal discipline is the need of the hour to boost the state's economy," she said.