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Survey for ending MSP system

July 07, 2004 12:13 IST
Last Updated: July 07, 2004 12:41 IST

Questioning the relevance of the minimum support price regime in the politically sensitive farm sector, the Economic Survey on Wednesday recommended a broad-based agricultural development programme as the sector had not been given desired attention unlike manufacturing and services.

"A shift from minimum support price system and developing alternative products markets are essential for crop diversification and broad-based agricultural development," the Survey presented in the Lok Sabha on the eve of Budget, said.

"Over the years, agriculture sector has not received as much attention as other sectors in services and manufacturing," it lamented.

Hoping for revival of agricultural production in view of the prospects of a good monsoon this year, the Survey said good rains helped foodgrain production increase to 210.8 million tonnes in 2003-04 from 174.2 million tonnes in 2002-03.

Agriculture accounts for 22 per cent of GDP besides providing livelihood to 58 per cent of country's population. However, the sector suffers from a mismatch between food crops and cash crops.

Expressing concern, it said domestic production of pulses and oilseeds were still below the domestic requirements leading to import of the commodities which resulted in several trade and fiscal constraints.

The rural economy and the private sector lack the basic infrastructure to build sufficient buffer stocks and the country remains vulnerable to weather shocks.

Economic Survey 2003-2004: Complete Coverage

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