New Delhi: The 15th Finance Commission (FFC) on Monday set up a high level expert group on farm exports, which will be headed by ITC chairman and managing director Sanjiv Puri. The committee will recommend measurable performance incentives for states to encourage agri exports as well as to promote crops to enable high import substitution.
The members of the committee include former agriculture secretary Radha Singh, chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Paban K. Borthakur, NESTLE India CMD Suresh Narayanan, UPL Limited CEO Jay Shroff, Country Head of Olam Agro India Ltd Sanjay Sacheti, Director General of Research and Information System for Developing Countries Sachin Chaturvedi and a representative of Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
“The Committee can seek assistance of any other institution or entity as considered appropriate for completion of the work. The Committee will submit its recommendations within three months for further consideration of the Commission," a statement from the FFC said.
The Terms of Reference of the Committee is to assess export & import substitution opportunities for Indian agricultural products such as commodities, semi processed and processed in the changing international trade scenario; and suggest ways to step up exports sustainably and reduce import dependence. The committee will also advise the FFC strategies and measures to increase farm productivity, enable higher value addition, ensure waste reduction, strengthen logistics infrastructure etc. related to Indian agriculture, to improve the sector’s global competitiveness.
The committee will also identify the impediments for private sector investments along the agricultural value chain and suggest policy measures and reforms that would help attract the required investments. The committee is also mandated to suggest appropriate performance-based incentives to the state governments for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26, to accelerate reforms in the agriculture sector as well as implement other policy measures in this regard.