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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Farms key to ending poverty, unemployment: Nirmala Sitharaman

In her second pre-budget consultation with representatives of industry, services and trade bodies later in the day, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said industry should be able to accommodate more work force in order to reap the benefit of demographic dividend

india Updated: Jun 11, 2019 23:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS in the Ministry of Finance Anurag Thakur and others attend a pre-budget meeting, in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS in the Ministry of Finance Anurag Thakur and others attend a pre-budget meeting, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)
         

Addressing the agriculture sector’s concerns is the government’s top priority as the key to eradicate unemployment and poverty lies in development of agriculture and allied sectors, including non-farm sector, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

Start-ups could remove segmentation in the agriculture market and help in providing remunerative prices to farmers, while supplying farm products to final consumers at reasonable prices, she said while holding the first pre-budget consultation with various stakeholders including senior officials from different government departments and representatives of farmers’ organisations.

In her second pre-budget consultation with representatives of industry, services and trade bodies later in the day, she said industry should be able to accommodate more work force in order to reap the benefit of demographic dividend because 24% of the total work force in India is in the industrial sector.

The focus of the first meeting was on agriculture and rural development while the second meeting focused on trade and industry. Participants in the meeting on agricultural issues included minister of state for finance and corporate affairs Anurag Thakur, NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chandra, senior officials of finance and agricultural ministries, Punjab Agricultural University vice-chancellor Baldev Singh Dhillon, Bharat Krishak Samaj chairman Ajay Vir Jakhar, NABARD chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) director general Chandrajit Banerjee.

Jakhar tweeted that a coordinated effort among all agencies can help in resolving issues related to agriculture. CII recommended enhanced investments in the processing and non-farm sectors to enhance rural entrepreneurship and rural jobs.

With a view to give a boost to the Indian economy, the representatives of industry submitted several suggestions concerning land reforms, special economic zones, industrial policy, investment in research and development, simplification of tax regime, tapping potential in tourism sector, foreign direct investment, GST, capital gains tax, corporate tax, MSME sector, e-commerce, education, healthcare and start-ups, a finance ministry statement said.