Punjab CM agency, free energy to farmers to remain

Ruchika Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 14

The group of specialists led by eminent economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia has instructed radical coverage adjustments in agriculture, business, talent improvement and digitisation to propel progress in Punjab.

Edit: Montek’s prescription

The first report, submitted to the Punjab Government final week, was mentioned by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh with the specialists by means of video-conferencing. He reiterated that free energy to farmers would keep. He agreed with the advice that diversification in agriculture was the best way ahead. The last report is to be submitted by December 31.

Montek panel’s key suggestions

  • Diversification in agriculture
  • Rationalising energy subsidy
  • Capping wages of workers
  • Agri land for non-agriculture use
  • Thrust on talent improvement
  • Vertical progress, digitisation

A perusal of the report reveals that it mirrors the insurance policies of the NDA authorities on the Centre. It favours corporatisation and inspiring non-public events to purchase grain. It talks of rationalisation of energy subsidy to the farm sector by means of the “Pani bachao, paisa kamao” marketing campaign and segregation of agriculture feeders. It desires the wage of workers capped which may have an effect on 7.50 lakh workers and their households. It additionally requires “better realisation” of income from the sale of sand and liquor by means of increased royalties and taxes. The report says that farmers ought to shift to high-value crops and that Punjab ought to turn into a farm machinery-manufacturing hub.

Hinting at corporatisation in agriculture, the report recommends making a framework that permits land to be leased for 15-20 years for plantation and orchards, 5-10 years for different agriculture functions on renewable phrases. It favours change in land legal guidelines for permitting agriculture land for non-agriculture use and money subsidy for farmers.

Interestingly, the ruling Congress authorities in Punjab has opposed the three farm ordinances of the NDA authorities, calling these as “attempts to corporatise agriculture.” For reviving business, the skilled group has really helpful utilizing the Rs 20 lakh crore bundle introduced by the Centre, disposing of the two-tier energy tariff for a yr and permitting vertical improvement.

It requires embarking on the street to digitisation in creating agriculture worth chains and constructing the-state-of-the-art startup ecosystem with the organising of “Punjab Innovation Fund”. The greatest problem, the report says, is to go in for talent improvement and bringing social sector reforms, particularly for the migrant labour.

Acknowledging that a few of these suggestions could also be powerful to implement, the report says: “If we actually wish to restore Punjab to its earlier, place, that goal requires a radical break from previous traits and this can’t be achieved by continuing on a business-as-usual foundation.

“It calls for radical new policy initiatives and if we cannot take these difficult decisions, we must be content with the more limited objective of getting out of the current severely depressed economic situation as quickly as possible.”

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