Home Economy PM not happy with agriculture growth

PM not happy with agriculture growth


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday expressed dissatisfaction over agriculture growth but was optimistic that 9 to 10 percent growth of the economy was achievable in the coming two years.

Speaking to women journalists at his residence here, he said the government would be focussing on agriculture as "we are not satisfied with the present growth", but was confident that the target of 8 percent growth can be achieved.

The prime minister had in May announced a Rs.250 billion package for farmers at the National Development Council (NDC) meeting convened specially to discuss the issue of agriculture which had been of concern to the government.

To a question on import of food grains, he said there was need to be careful and admitted that enough had not been done with regard to agriculture and that was why the government is going to accord it priority.

On inflation, he said it was not something on "which we need to worry too much and we can bring it under control".

India's inflation rate fell more than expected to a 14-month low in mid-June.

The widely tracked wholesale price index rose 4.03 percent in the 12 months to June 16, slowing from an annual rise of 4.28 percent a week earlier and well below a two-year high of 6.69 percent in late January.

On the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy, the prime minister said every country has found it necessary to go in for industrialisation though land acquisition issues would have to be examined carefully.

He said he did not apprehend any danger to agriculture due to SEZs being set up on acquired farmland since industry is important for the development of the country.

He recalled that during his tenure at the Planning Commission, a land use map had been drawn and there was need to rely on it.

On his meeting with Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, he said he had expressed concern over the violence that had taken place in West Bengal's Nandigram over land acquisition for industry though he refrained from saying anything on SEZs.