Plan panel praises 3 BJP-ruled states

published on December 20, 2011

Sanjeeb Mukherjee / New Delhi – Bussiness Standard

Group on agriculture flags performances of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh for emulation.

A Planning Commission working group has commended the governments of three states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party — Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh — for remarkable progress in raising agriculture production and growth rates over the past decade.

The group, constituted to suggest measures for agriculture in the 12th Five-Year Plan that will start from April 2012, said there is a need to learn from the better agriculture performances of states and replicate relevant experience in low growth states, particularly those with high potential.

“State-wise growth shows that despite the usual explanations for low growth like changing climate, soil degradation, stress on water resources and policy constraints, some states have done exceedingly well,” it observed.

National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research director Ramesh Chand headed the group. It had senior officials from the ministry of agriculture and from state governments. Its recommendations could form part of the final 12th Five-Year Plan document.

The group says annual net agri production has risen in Gujarat since 2002-03 by a little more than 15 per cent, at 2004-05 prices. The annual growth is estimated to be a little over 10 per cent at 1999-2000 prices.

“A closer examination of the data in respect of Gujarat shows the state made remarkable increase in raising agriculture production after 2002-03,” the final report of the working group said. The present chief minister, Narendra Modi, took charge in October 2001.

Chhattisgarh comes second in the estimates of the working group, having raised net agriculture growth to almost 6.1 per cent in the period from 1999-2000 to 2008-09, with the major chunk coming after 2002-2003. The state has been ruled by a BJP government led by Raman Singh since December 2003.

The national average annual growth rate of agriculture in the 10th Five-Year Plan (2002-2007) was 2.2 per cent. It has risen to 3.5 per cent in the 11th Plan (2007-2012).

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