Agriculture sector needs lot to be done: Experts


Patna,(BiharTimes): Notwithstanding so much talk about the agriculture roadmap and big investments in this sector various experts, who took part in the concluding day discussion on “Current Status of Bihar and Planning” of three-day 49th annual conference of the Indian Econometric Society on Friday, are of the view that much has not been made in farm sector. Besides, the state’s performance in reducing poverty is quite dismal in spite of good growth rate.

Speaking on the occasion, the chairman of Institute for Human Development, New Delhi, Alakh Narayan Sharma said there have been no major changes in the agriculture sector for many years. “There is a huge gap between the national and the state growth rate. If the state government wants to bridge the gap, there should be at least 15 per cent increase in the state rate for 15 years constantly,” he added.
Sharma said the growth in Bihar’s economy has been primarily due to investment in sectors like construction, trade, hotels, roads etc, but there has hardly been any significant change in investment in primary or agriculture sector on which more than two-thirds of the population depended. Proper marketing of foodgrains is a big problem for Bihar.

The director of Asian Development Research Institute director, P P Ghosh, said “if the state wants to develop, there should be political will among the leaders of state for sustainable development.”

According to Sudipto Mundle, a member of the 14th Finance Commission public investments are needed to boost private investments. He appreciated the good work in the infrastructure sector and improved law and order situation.

PU Economics department teacher Rai Murari observed that per capita public investment in the state has to be increased, law and order has to be improved further and availability of power has to be ensured to attract private investment for pushing up growth of the state.

State planning and development department principal secretary Vijoy Prakash, who chaired the session said in his presidential remarks, that the state government has already moved for entitlement-based planning in place of expenditure-based planning down to the panchayat level for ensuring inclusive growth in the state.

Economists and social scientists from different parts of India, who took part, pleaded for generation of surplus public finance to attract private investment for sustaining the pace of growth and development in Bihar.

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