PM denies US dictates farm policy

Growth could go up to 7.5 per cent during 2009-10, says the prime minister
Last Updated 05 March 2010, 20:02 IST

The prime minister, who was replying to a debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha, said he wanted to assure Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi that there was no scope for misconception on that count.
“I wish to reassure him that nothing of this sort has happened. There is no scope for this sort of ‘galatfaimi’ (misconception),” Singh said, adding he had spoken to US President Barack Obama on several occasions but “not once has he sought to pressurise India.”
Joshi had earlier said in the House that the US was more interested in agri-business and not agriculture production.  The less production India has the more the scope of export from the US, he said.

The prime minister said there was no reason to be panicky on food security. He said there was procurement of 2.3 million  tonnes rice this year .  Rabi crop has also been encouraging.

He said the increase in sugar prices was a cyclical phenomenon. A small amount of sugar was exported because of international commitment as India was part of global economy.

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Singh said India performed creditably despite the recession,  unsteady monsoon, drought and rise in commodity prices.

He said growth could go up to 7.5 per cent during 2009-10 and in the coming years could reach nine per cent. “But growth is not an end in itself,” Singh said.

“Growth, though, was important to find resources,” the prime minister said.
On the foreign policy,  Singh said India as a civilised state is committed to the dialogue with Pakistan.

India has, however, conveyed to Pakistan that it should dismantle its terror factories, he said.

(Published 05 March 2010, 20:02 IST)

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