Mumbai: To sustain the economic growth of 8%, the country’s agriculture sector needs to grow at 4% in the next 4-5 years, a Government official said.
“To sustain India’s 7-8% growth, we need agriculture to grow by 4% in the next 4-5-year period,” Minister of State for Finance, Pawan Kumar Bansal, said here today.
Despite inflation and resultant control on credit by banks, the projected growth rate of 8% will be a very satisfactory level, Bansal said.
To achieve the growth rate of 4% in agriculture, it is essential that the farming community is helped in all possible ways. The Government has already announced a loan waiver of Rs71,000 crore for farmers, he said.
Fifty-one per cent of India’s population in rural households has no access to credit. Only 27% has access to formal credit, 21% to private money lenders.
Indian banks have robust deposits of Rs33 trillion and a net bank credit of Rs25 trillion, Bansal said, adding that banks should provide credit to productive and SME sectors so that the economy would not suffer.
He said that inflation will come down following reports of 230 million tonnes of production in rabi crop and expectation of good crop in kharif season.
He defended the substantial increase in minimum support price (MSP) announced by the Government and said that farmers should benefit from this but it should not hurt the general public.