Staff Reporter

Call for policy interlinking credit delivery, investment, pricing, employment

Need for heavy investment in

public infrastructure

CHENNAI: India’s economic reforms have failed to boost the growth of agriculture, Madras Institute of Development Studies Professor K. Nagaraj said on Wednesday.

The reduction of capital expenditure in the sector post-1991 led to loss of employment in rural areas, and agriculture became unviable when there was no external support for research in agriculture and market procurement, Mr. Nagaraj said at a seminar organised here by Vivekananda College on the impact of economic reforms in agriculture.

He called for a policy that interlinked factors such as credit delivery, investment, pricing and employment to restore the support system offered by the government.

N. Ravi, Editor, The Hindu , who inaugurated the seminar, said the decline of public infrastructure for agriculture in rural areas was one of the reasons for the lag in the sector.

There was need for heavy investment in public infrastructure such as roads, railways and power.

“There has been great excitement due to India’s growth rate of 8-9 per cent. However, the question of sustainability remains… For inclusive growth, social services like health and education need investment,” Mr. Ravi said.

No country could aspire to be called ‘developed’ until it achieved total literacy.

Pulapre Balakrishnan, Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, said allocation of financial resources was important but good governance was essential to improve agricultural growth. He cited high food prices in India (compared with developed countries) as one of the reasons for the lag in poverty alleviation.

Interaction among students and speakers followed the presentations. The seminar was organised by the college’s economics and commerce departments.