Agriculture sector should be top most priority in upcoming Budget: ASSOCHAM India

Updated:1 month, 2 weeks ago IST

New Delhi, Dec 10 (ANI): The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) on Sunday opined that agriculture sector needed the maximum of the government's attention and that it should be the top most priority in the upcoming Budget, as it has seen a major setback in Kharif production, leading to overall laggard growth of the sector in the country's GDP performance for the second quarter of the current fiscal. While the year-to-year agriculture Gross Value Addition (GVA) growth for the July-September quarter of 2017-18 dropped to 1.7 per cent from 4.1 per cent, measured on basic prices, the fall looks quite sharp at current prices from 10 per cent to 3.7 per cent. It is attributed to a decline in food grain production by 2.8 per cent in second quarter of the current fiscal from a handsome growth of 10.7 per cent in the similar period of 2016-17. "Surely, shortfall in the second leg of the Monsoon seems to have its impact on the Kharif production. Besides, distress in prices of several agri commodities would have also played a role in lower realisations as seen in the growth deceleration on the current prices," the chamber noted. ASSOCHAM Secretary General DS Rawat said since more than half of the GVA in the farm sector was contributed by livestock, fishery and forestry, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should particularly focus on these segments of the economy along with a major thrust on agriculture infrastructure like irrigation.

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