Raising farmer's income key to better agricultural production: Rajiv Kumar


Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with experts and secretaries ahead of the Union Budget.

The session on "Economic Policy: The Road Ahead", organised by government think tank NITI Aayog, was attended by a host of ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, NITI Aayog functionaries and leading economists.

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar addressed in the press meet after the economists-conference that employment was one of the major issue discussed for the duration of the pre-union-budget-conference. "Many experts today said that we should shift from focus on agricultural production to raising farmers income, by improving productivity, lowering costs, greater efficiency, greater market access, making producers of products rather than commodities", Kumar said.

Kumar said that the NITI Aayog is undertaking a reassessment of India's employment data.

Niti Aayog has set up a task force to examine high frequency employment data.

The finding of report is in startling contrast to the Labour Bureau and Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data on jobs. "You will see there is much better news on employment front than what people thought", he said.

Several presentations were made to the Prime Minister during the meeting after which, he thanked the participants for their suggestions and observations and assured them that the Government will consider these. Kumar also said there was overwhelming support for the National Medical Council bill from the experts.

"The statistics we are getting on lack of employment generation are probable overrated". "The PM was present for a significant period and showed keen interest in the presentations", said a source who was present in the meeting.

Kumar said that the jobs situation was also on the agenda of the meeting. But, the World Bank numbers released on Wednesday are quite optimistic - the economic growth is expected to accelerate to 7.3% this year and 6.7 per cent in 2017.