Want to take a look at agriculture as trendy enterprise enterprise

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 29

The Economic Survey on Friday suggested the government to see the farm sector as a “modern business enterprise” for which “urgent reforms” are required to enable sustainable and consistent growth.

Covid plan checked surge in cases

The Economic Survey has noted that India’s Covid-19 management plan prevented the spread of 37 lakh cases and saved more than 1 lakh lives. UP, Gujarat and Bihar restricted the case spread the best; Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh saved the most lives. TNS

4 pvt passenger train projects cleared

  • The govt’s Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPAC) has till date recommended four passenger train projects for private operations, survey said.
  • During FY20, the PPPAC recommended five projects with cost of Rs4,321 crore. Of these, four are railway sector projects (passenger train projects) and one port sector project. In FY21, the PPPAC recommended seven projects.

Airlines to increase fleet size by fiscal-end

  • The survey says air travel and aircraft movements are set to reach pre-Covid level in early 2021 as a result of effective measures put in place by the government.
  • The fleet strength of airlines, which was 669 by the end of 2020 fiscal, will increase to 713 by the end of the current fiscal. tns

India’s farm sector has shown its resilience amid the adversities of Covid-induced lockdown, the government’s economic report card stated.

According to the Economic Survey tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament ahead of the Union Budget on February 1, “agriculture and allied activities were the sole bright spot amid the slide in GDP performance of other sectors, clocking a growth rate of 3.4 per cent at constant prices during 2020-21 (first advance estimates)”.

As the survey applauded the contribution of the sector to the emerging “green shoots of the Indian economy”, it also added that recent agricultural reforms (against which farmers are agitating) were “a remedy, and not a malady”.

“The three agricultural reform legislations are designed and intended primarily for the benefit of small and marginal farmers, which constitute around 85 per cent of the total number of growers,” it said.

E-education to end inequality

Online schooling, which has taken off in a big way during the pandemic, can help reduce inequalities in educational outcomes if it is well-utilised, the Economic Survey said.

The percentage of enrolled children from government and private schools owning a smartphone increased from 36.5 per cent in 2018 to 61.8 per cent in 2020 in rural India.

If utilised well, the resultant reduction in digital divide between rural and urban, gender, age and income groups is likely to reduce inequalities in educational outcomes, stated the Economic Survey tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament today. —TNS

Roadmap for local defence equipment

The Economic Survey on Friday laid out a road map for encouraging indigenous defence equipment manufacturing by providing incentives to private manufacturers.

So far, 496 industrial licences have been given to private companies till September 2020 for manufacture of a wide range of defence items. Exports from Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), DPSUs and the private sector in the Financial Year have increased from Rs 4,682 crore in FY 2017-18 to Rs 9116 crore in FY 2019-20. —TNS

More funds for health sector

The Economic Survey 2020-21 has called for enhancing government spending on healthcare from the current 1 per cent to 2.5 to 3 per cent of the GDP, saying the shift would decrease out-of-pocket expenditures from 65 per cent to 30 per cent of the overall healthcare spend.

In another radical suggestion, the survey bats for the regulation of private healthcare sector, noting that an unregulated market was leading to sub-optimal outcomes for patients who often did not know anything about the quality of the service they were buying. — TNS

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