This refers to Surinder Sud’s “Beyond loan waivers & doles” (March 5). The issues raised and the points made look rational and suggestions worth pursuing. Obviously, the “agricultural agenda” is presented at this point of time to garner support from as many political parties as possible that may be participating in the 2019 general elections. A mention has been made about the need for bringing agriculture and irrigation in the concurrent list of the Constitution to let the Union government play a more meaningful role in their development. There would be no two views on the desirability of revisiting the subjects in the central, state and concurrent lists of the Constitution as political formations have undergone a change from what they were decades ago.
In the present scenario, pending large scale changes in statutes, the NITI Aayog should be in a position to play a proactive role in guiding the Centre and the states where necessary, in the formulation of policies affecting prices, wages and income across sectors. After the NITI Aayog took over most of the roles of the erstwhile Planning Commission, the impression one got was that the new dispensation was listening to all stakeholders before advising government on the policy issues. From the article, it is not clear whether the Consortium of Indian Farmers Association did approach NITI Aayog to brief it about its concerns about farm sector policy.
M G Warrier