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|February 23, 2001||Feedback|
'Foodgrain production may decline by 4.7 per cent'
The Economic Survey on Friday warned that India's foodgrain production would decline by 4.7 per cent during the current fiscal and asked the government to remove all restrictions on agriculture related products including reservation for small scale sector.
The pre-budget document, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, decried that despite reforms since 1991 the general impression was that "agriculture in India operates amidst restraints and controls and that farmers do not receive the benefits of free trade as compared to other sectors."
It said the farm sector, dampened by adverse climatic conditions, faced a slowdown with foodgrains production likely to drop to 199 million tonnes from 208.9 million tonnes in the previous year, registering a decline of about 4.7 per cent.
Prospects of crop agriculture is expected to decline by 3.5 per cent mainly because of nearly ten million tonnes fall in foodgrains output coupled with low oilseeds production.
The survey, however, said that there is no need to worry about the effects of this large decline as the country sits on a very large public food stock of over 43 million tonnes.
Agriculture and allied sector, it said, is anticipated to grow by about 0.9 per cent in 2000-01, which is marginally better than 0.7 per cent growth in the preceding year.
Describing export of processed agri-products as the key to improved export realisation, the document said it would be possible through unrestricted movement, storage and liberal trade regime.