'Pawar responsible for growth in farm sector'

'Pawar responsible  for growth in farm sector'

Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has sought to claim credit for the food security law. Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar said that Pawar’s progressive policies have led to immense growth in the farm sector and resulted in record food grain production.

“The credit for ensuring food grain for the food security law goes to Sharad Pawar. It is because of his progressive policies the agriculture sector has witnessed such rapid growth,” Anwar, who along with Pawar parted ways with the Congress in 1999 to form the NCP, told Deccan Herald.

He listed farm loan waiver, making credit available to farmers and increase in the minimum support price as key steps taken by Pawar for growth of the agriculture sector.

The national food security scheme is a pet project of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. At the discussion stage, Pawar had raised certain objections to the bill contending that it would affect food procurement and send fiscal discipline haywire.
He had even given up the food portfolio in 2010 as the Congress was keen on enacting the pro-poor measure.

The National Food Security Bill, which seeks to supply cheap food grains to 82-crore Indians, was passed by Parliament in August.

“Even 50 per cent success in implementing the food security law would bring electoral benefits for the United Progressive Alliance,” Anwar said.

India’s food-grain output for the kharif season this year is expected to rise to 129.32 million tonnes from 128.20 million tonnes last year. The full-year food grain production is expected to surpass the previous year’s record output of 259.29 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, Union Food Minister K V Thomas has convened a meeting of food ministers from all states on Tuesday to discuss implementation of the food security law. A few states, including Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram have implemented the law. All are Congress-ruled states.

Comments (+)