Economic growth not “justifiable and equitable” unless benefits reach farmers: Jaitley

Vastavam web: Ahead of the Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the agriculture sector is the top priority for the government because the country’s economic growth is not “justifiable and equitable” unless the benefits are “clear and evident” in the farm sector.Therefore, the government’s priority is to ensure the gains reach the farmers and the growth is visible even in the farm sector, he said at an event here.The CSO has pegged farm and allied sector growth to slow to 2.1 per cent in the current fiscal from 4.9 per cent in the preceding year.

“India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the growth is benefiting people in different sectors.Among the priority areas, agriculture sector is on the top, he said. “Ensuring the benefits reach the agri-sector and growth is visible — this is among the priority areas for us.” Jaitley further said: “We see in some places the problem of falling prices because of higher production. Farmers are not getting the price for their produce.” They have worked hard to turn a food shortage country to a surplus now. However, due to higher production, they are now faced with falling prices, he added.The minister also mentioned that the launch of options trading is one of the major steps taken to help farmers.