Competition in agriculture to benefit people: Pranab


New Delhi : Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday said competition in the agricultural sector would be a “litmus test” but would benefit people.

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“There is a scope to include competition in the agriculture market. The real litmus test would be to reach out to the common man. This should offer better price mechanism,” Mukherjee said in an address at a conference here on Competition, Public Policy and Common Man.

The finance minister, who last week had said there would be no fresh fiscal stiumus packages, also maintained his government had no plans to remove these right now.

“Stimulus will be removed when economy is firmly on the path of recovery. The common man had been cushioned against the global slowdown by the government regulation,” he stated.

In London last week, Mukherjee had said the three stimulus packages implemented between December 2008 and February 2009 had achieved its objective — halt the slide in the economic growth that had plummeted to 5.6 percent last fiscal.

“As a consequence, we had 6.7 percent growth rate,” he had told Indian journalists at the end of a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries.

At the same time, Mukherjee cited the need to cut India’s fiscal and revenue deficits, and ruled out any further special packages to stimulate the Indian economy”. There is no question of having any further stimulus package,” he had averred.