Amid concerns over inflation in agricultural items, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday sought suggestions from economic experts for a solution as he asserted that the “best is yet to come” in the sector.
The issue came up during an interaction Dr. Singh had with members of the prestigious National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) Centre where he was told by some of them that inflation was a result of farming cost which has gone up by 20 per cent in the last 4-5 years on account of MNREGA and regular hike in MSP, sources said.
The meeting with members of the NCAER, an institute with which Dr. Singh was associated for about six years from 1976, saw a detailed discussion on the agriculture sector amid concerns over rising prices of the farm produce.
Dr. Singh made it clear that the government had to undertake the programmes, like MNREGA, and raise MSP to empower people at the lowest strata of the society.
He asked the economists to suggest solutions to bring down prices while keeping this aspect in mind as he contended that “the best is yet to come” in the sector.
Sources noted that due to schemes like rural job guarantee programme and hikes in MSP, the per capita income in rural areas has shown a substantial improvement.
In his address to NCAER members, the Prime Minister said “the purpose of the study of economics is not to provide settled answers to unsettled and difficult questions, but sometimes to warn economists and the world-at-large, how not to be misled by clever governments”.