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Stop free electricity: Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Press Trust of India  |  Ludhiana 

Noted Montek Singh today stressed on stopping free power and reduce subsidy on fertiliser over the next five years.

"We need to consider quantity rationing of water usage by stopping and curb the subsidy on fertiliser over five years," said Ahluwalia, who was also a former of

He was delivering his talk on " Challenges in Agriculture: Some Policy Options" at the Agricultural University (PAU) today.

Ahluwalia, while addressing gathering here, emphasised on the need to have an educated and informed electorate so that government leaders could be held accountable for relevant targets.

He also pointed out the absence of a risk mitigating system in agriculture that which was one of the chief reasons of farm distress.

While stressing on the need for pro-farmer policies, recalled the from 2004 to 2011 when the country reported increase in farm income and biggest decline in poverty.

"The factors responsible were better land productivity, supportive prices for farmers, boom in construction investment and increase in farm product prices", he said.

further stressed on the need to diversify from cereals to horticultural crops and setting of transformational targets to capture these changes over a of ten years.

"Diversification to maize can be an important change for as also dairy if the CM's objective of getting out of paddy is to be achieved," he observed.

While suggesting the development of integrated value chains as a part of the 'plough to plate' approach, Ahluwalia appealed for conviction on the part of the policy makers towards eliminating policy constraints.

He highlighted the imminent need for judicious use of water which he said can be achieved by having public sector pumps responsible for quantity rationing.

Voicing his concern in the field of research, the said, "we need to think about institution structures and vested interests in the system that deny flexibility to the academia to do ground breaking research."

He called for shift in attitude and more clarity towards the requirement of GM crops.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 21:55 IST