Deputy chairman of erstwhile planning commission of India, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, on Friday, said that viable solution for agriculture distress is possible only by pulling a certain section of people out of agriculture activities and providing them with productive employment in non-agriculture sectors. Delivering chief guest address as part of guest lecture series during Pragyan-2019 at NIT Trichy, he said it will not be possible to address agrarian distress if growth rate is not accelerated beyond 8%.
Agriculture constitutes for 33% of gross domestic product (GDP) but 47% of the population is engaged in it. The per capita GDP of the country is growing at 6.3% per year and agriculture is growing at the rate of only 4%, he added.
Therefore, agriculture productivity cannot be expected to grow at the rate of per capita GDP unless numbers of people engaged in agriculture are pulled out. But the government needs to take responsibility of providing jobs to them, he said.
When political parties say that they want to resolve farmer distress and generate employment, they must be asked about the target rate of growth that is necessary for this purpose. Very few political campaigns focus on how the budget will be balanced when all the programmes are taken into account, he said. With inherent strength, Indian economy can achieve 8% growth by good macro-economic management and policy, he said. He said that if money should be spent on educating children, it must be through rolling out public sector schools.