NITI Aayog Against Abrupt Re­stric­tions on Agri Ex­ports

OVER­SEAS PUSH Curbs should be re­sorted to in ex­cep­tional sit­u­a­tions and pro­duc­ers should be aware of them in ad­vance, says govt think tank’s agri ex­pert

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More -

Yogima Seth Sharma & Mad­hvi Sally

New Delhi: NITI Aayog has ar­gued against any abrupt re­stric­tions on agri­cul­ture ex­ports to meet do­mes­tic de­mand, sug­gest­ing that in­stead these should be re­sorted to in ex­cep­tional sit­u­a­tions and pro­duc­ers should know well in ad­vance of im­pend­ing re­stric­tions.

If ac­cepted by the gov­ern­ment, this would en­sure that In­dian agri­cul­ture com­modi­ties have a ded­i­cated mar­ket over­seas as the fo­cus of gov­ern­ment moves from farm land to for­eign land to help take In­dia’s agri­cul­ture ex­port to $60 bil­lion by 2022.

“Ex­port re­stric­tions on com­modi­ties should be re­sorted to in ex­cep­tional sit­u­a­tions based on the prin­ci­ple trig­ger that the pro­ducer knows in ad­vance,” NITI Aayog’s agri­cul­ture ex­pert and mem­ber, Ramesh Chand, told ET.

Cur­rently, In­dia ex­ports a large num­ber of agri­cul­ture com­modi­ties an­nu­ally.

How­ever, this is sub­ject to sta­ble do­mes­tic mar­ket which means if de­mand goes up or prices soar in the do­mes­tic mar­ket, the gov­ern­ment im­me­di­ately stops ex­ports mid-way as a re­sult of which In­dia is rarely seen as a con­sis­tent sup­plier of agri com­modi­ties to over­seas des­ti­na­tions.

The Aayog is of the view that agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion in In­dia should have ded­i­cated fo­cus on ex­ports and cer­tain amount of all pro­duce should be ded­i­cated to ex­ports.

“We should not be ex­port­ing resid­ual pro­duce but pro­duc­ing ex­clu­sively for ex­ports,” Chand added.

The com­merce min­istry is­sued a draft agri­cul­ture ex­port pol­icy in 2017 call­ing for sta­ble agri ex­ports from In­dia. The de­part­ment will soon move a cab­i­net note on the pol­icy that calls for pre­dictable ar­gues against abrupt re­stric­tions on agri ex­ports

pro­duc­tion in In­dia should have ded­i­cated fo­cus on ex­ports

ex­ports are sub­ject to sta­ble do­mes­tic mar­ket

Govt’s fo­cus has moved from

This is to help take agri ex­ports to

farm land to for­eign land $60 b by 2022

farm ex­ports regime with lim­ited state in­ter­fer­ence, re­form of the Agri­cul­tural Pro­duce Mar­ket Com­mit­tee (APMC) Act and stream­lin­ing of mandi fees along with lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of land-leas­ing norms in­clud­ing con­tract farm­ing.

Enu­mer­at­ing the list of re­forms that need to be brought into agri­cul­ture ex­ports, Chand said In­dia should fo­cus on ex­port of niche and value added prod­ucts like condi­ments, spices and hor­ti­cul­ture prod­ucts, in­crease in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture and in­tro­duce agri­cul­ture re­forms as im­me­di­ate mea­sure to boost ex­ports.

“In­dia has a huge po­ten­tial to ex­port agri­cul­ture and hor­ti­cul­ture crops. The


slo­gan should now be ‘from farm land to for­eign land’. This will en­sure farm­ers get re­mu­ner­a­tive rates,” Chand said. The Aayog has given its go ahead to the draft agri­cul­ture pol­icy of com­merce min­istry and the gov­ern­ment is ex­pected to make an an­nounce­ment in this re­gard soon.

In­dia’s share in global ex­ports of agri­cul­ture prod­ucts rose from 1% a few years ago to 2.2% in 2016. It is cur­rently ranked ninth among ex­porters glob­ally.

The plan is to adopt a clus­ter base ap­proach for agri­cul­ture com­mod­ity ex­ports so that qual­ity prod­ucts can be ex­ported. “The clus­ters should have fo­cused at­ten­tion to pro­duce world class prod­ucts which com­plies with the in­ter­na­tional phy­tosan­i­tary stan­dards,” an of­fi­cial in the agri­cul­ture min­istry said.

The gov­ern­ment will also fo­cus on strength­en­ing In­dia’s ex­ist­ing mar­ket share of tra­di­tional items like tea, spices, cot­ton, grapes and pomegranates while si­mul­ta­ne­ously tap­ping new mar­kets. “The In­dian em­bassies would be strength­ened to get mar­ket in­tel­li­gence and in­ter­vene when ex­porters have is­sues in those coun­tries,” the of­fi­cial added.

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