Liberalise FDI in retail for farm sector: Survey

India’s public expenditure on agriculture was a fourth of the subsidy bill on food and fertilizer

Updated - November 17, 2021 02:05 am IST

Published - February 28, 2015 12:34 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Economic Survey said that by adopting what it called the JAM Number Trinity — Jan Dhan Yojana accounts seeded with Aadhaar numbers and operated through mobile numbers — would allow the States to deliver the subsidies to the poor in a targeted and less distorted manner.

Pointing to the lop-sidedness of policies, it said India’s public expenditure on agriculture was a fourth of the subsidy bill on food and fertilizer. In its recommendations for farm sector reforms, it said liberalisation of FDI in retail could help fill the massive investment and infrastructure deficit which resulted in supply-chain inefficiencies. The Modi government’s stand has been to disallow FDI in multi-brand retail.

“Boldness in areas where policy levers can be more easily pulled by the Centre combined with incrementalism in other areas is a combination that can cumulate over time to Big Bang reforms.”

The Survey also found that India’s manufacturing was skill-intensive, which was not in line with the country’s comparative advantage in unskilled labour and recommended rebalancing of policies: “While ‘Make in India’ occupies prominence as an important goal, the future trajectory of Indian Development depends on both it and ‘Skilling India’.”

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