Industry status

Nirmala Sitharaman: In favor of granting industrial status to the agricultural sector: Nirmala Sitharaman

MUMBAI: Trade and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday that she was in favor of granting industry status to the agricultural sector. Granting industry status to the agricultural sector would mean that it could enjoy facilities and advantages comparable to those of an industry.

“I think the agricultural sector should be given the status of industry if so many people depend on it,” Sitharaman said during his speech at the 4th SBI Banking and Economics Conclave in the financial capital. “And remember the policies that opened up on FDI. We are talking about FDI in plantation crops, so why not bring in more money as well to ensure more production in agriculture. Agriculture is going to be the largest component of our exports and so yes, I would be in favor of granting industry status to agriculture. ”

The trade minister’s statement comes at a time when Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab have already waived thousands of dollars in farm loans as farmer unrest continues in states like Madhya Pradesh demanding a similar favor.

In May this year, the Center informed the Supreme Court that despite a multi-pronged approach to improve farmers’ incomes and social security, more than 12,000 suicides have been reported in the agricultural sector each year since 2013.

The government has repeatedly reiterated its efforts to double farmers’ incomes by 2022. Agrarian distress is evident among large numbers of farmers living below the poverty line and unfortunate incidents of suicide can be addressed by allowing farmers to increase their income.