The center establishes a panel of seven main ministers to suggest measures on agrarian reform

NEW DELHI: The Center on Monday established a committee of seven key ministers, led by Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra as its coordinator, to suggest measures to transform Indians and increase farmers' incomes.

The Committee, which has the Union's Minister of Agriculture, Narendra Singh Tomar, as one of its members, will present its report on its six-point benchmarks within two months.

In addition to Fadnavis, other key ministers in this panel include HD Kumaraswamy (Karnataka), (Haryana), Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh), Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), (Uttar Pradesh) and Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh). The member, Ramesh Chand, was appointed as member-secretary.

The government decided to establish this panel after the deliberations of the NITI Aayog government council meeting last month.

One of the six-point TOR of the panel includes suggestions on the modalities for the adoption and implementation of two key Model Laws, one on agricultural market reforms and the other on agriculture by contract, by the states. The Center had shared these two Model Acts with the states during the first term of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Examine various provisions of the Essential Commodities Act (ECA), 1955; suggesting a mechanism to link market reforms with e-NAM, GRAM and other relevant centrally sponsored schemes; and recommending policy measures to boost agricultural exports, increase growth in food processing and attract investments in modern market infrastructure, value chains and logistics are three other key points of the ToR.

The panel will examine various provisions of the CEA, taking into account the attraction of private investments in agricultural infrastructure and commercialization. The ECA in its current forms creates uncertainty in the minds of private investors, as they fear that government law may prohibit the sale and export of commodities in a certain situation under existing law, an official said.

The other two ToRs include the suggestion of measures to improve agricultural technology to world standards and improve farmers' access to seeds, plant propagation material and quality agricultural machinery in countries with agricultural advances, and to propose other relevant reforms for the transformation of the agricultural sector and the raising of farmers. income.

The panel will study several proposals from the interministerial committee on Duplicating Farmer Income (DFI) that suggested specific action points for reforms in the farm and related sectors, the official said.

These points, suggested by the DFI committee, include the development of a demand-driven agricultural logistics system for post-production operations, such as product aggregation, transportation and storage; agricultural market intelligence system to help farmers make decisions based on demand; Marketing infrastructure focused on farmers in rural areas and development of irrigation and micro-irrigation networks throughout the country.