The Economic Survey for 2015-16, which was tabled in Parliament today, recommends carrying forward the reform process to achieve 8 percent GDP growth rate over the years and projects 7-7.5 percent growth in the next fiscal. The Survey also stressed on transforming agriculture sector for food security.
Experts and the Industry observed that despite the global headwinds, economy holds immense growth potential to grow more than 8 percent in the next couple of years. Higher growth rate would come, if the reform-oriented policies are implemented effectively with focus on agriculture and infrastructure development.
Mahesh Gupta, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “ We believe agriculture sector needs a greater transformation to improve livelihoods of the farmers and to achieve food security.”
“Raising productivity in agriculture by investing in efficient irrigation technologies and efficient use of inputs would be critical to improve the state of farm sector,” he added.
The PHD Chamber said, “There is urgent need to rationalize agricultural policies.Water productivity needs to be enhanced through tapping harvesting and recycling water, efficient on farm management practices, micro irrigation, use of waste water and resource conservation technologies.”
It is promising to note that India is increasingly becoming strong in the production of perishables and protein contain food items. India ranks first in milk production and accounts for 18.5 percent of world production. The per capita availability of milk in India has increased from 176 grams per day in 1990-91 to 322 grams per day by 2014-15.
Sumit Mazumder, President, CII said that the Survey has rightly recognized that greater attention should be paid to invigorating the agriculture sector to provide a boost to rural demand. Similarly, a call for major investments in education and health is timely to reap the demographic dividend and promote inclusive growth.
Sunil Kanoria, President, Assocham said that it is always prudent to follow a fiscal discipline and stick to the fiscal deficit of 3.9 per cent this year and lower in 2016-17, but what matters is the quality of government expenditure which can revive investment in the key infrastructure.
“Agrarian crisis due to successive failure of monsoon for two years has been flagged off in the Survey, conveying a signal about growing realization in the government about the farm sector,” he added.
“In this backdrop, the Union Budget is expected to give a major focus on the farm and rural economy, which would be the right thing to do. Any help to the agri sector, is taken as the help for the industry, we are very clear in Assocham about it,” Kanoria said.
Overall, the India Inc expects a pragmatic, reform-oriented and bold Budget which would facilitate a comprehensive economic revival.