'Absurd' subsidies causing huge fiscal deficit: Expert

 
He was delivering a lecture on ‘Challenges before Indian agriculture’ at a programme organised by Institute for Development and Empowerment at EMMRC auditorium in the city.

Vaidynathan said, in the agriculture alone subsidy is being given for channelising water, drawing power and also fertiliser, so much so that subsidy is ‘heavily subsidised’.

This has been leading to absolving funds earmarked for other sectors, thanks to those, who for political benefits don’t want to argue on the issue. Vaidyanathan dismissed giving subsidy as absurd, when most of them are aware of deploying technology.

Drawing an analogy between agriculture in the 70’s and now, Vaidyanathan said that the growth in the realm is naturally low according to the population.

 The growth has been slow and steady since last one decade, also hindering average availability of food. Quoting nutritionist, Vaidyanathan said, average calories per person is calculated at 1,800 against the needed 2,400 calories, a norm for healthy and active functioning. When compared to other sectors, the gap between agriculture and non-agriculture sectors is huge with 2.5 per cent and eight per cent respectively, thanks to the per capita output that is growing at a lower rate.

Listing various reasons that have been impeding agriculture, Vaidyanathan regretted that it is all manmade as a result of failure of governance and politics to create a conducive atmosphere.

It may be inadequate investment, technology gaining upperhand without making judicious use of it for optimal results and many more. Vaidyanathan said, cropping system is what that is lacking in the field. Right amount of water should be used for respective crops, by regulating the system.

MSP

On ‘Minimum Support Price’ (MSP), Vaidynathan lamented that it has become a matter for political lobby that assures larger benefits by exerting more pressure to avail the same.
Chairman, Institute for Development and Empowerment, Prof V K Nataraj, Vice-Chancellor, Prof V G Talawar and others were present.

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