Price rise has adversely affected poor: vice-president

June 24th, 2008 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari Tuesday expressed concern over increasing food prices, which have adversely affected the poor across the world. “The world is facing an unprecedented hike in the prices of agricultural commodities that has led to an adverse impact on the poor,” Ansari said in his inaugural speech to the ministerial retreat of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) here Tuesday.

Representatives from 14 countries are participating in the three-day CIRDAP meet.

Ansari said redistribution of economic and political power continued to be important area for the public policy.

He said India had developed a sharp focus on poverty alleviation and rural development programmes.

“We have significantly enhanced our expenditure (for these programmes) from Rs.76 billion in 1993-94 to Rs.340 billion in 2003-04 and Rs.1,200 billion in the current financial year,” he said.

“While macro-economic and globalisation issues have been debated, they remain the penumbra of the shadow of this agrarian crisis. Increasing prices are having a concomitant impact on food security for the poor and the vulnerable,” he stated.

Nasser C. Pangandaman, secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform of the Philippines and the current chairperson of the CIRDAP Governing Council, said there had been a radical shift in the thinking of rural development policy makers and international institutions on the concerns of development of rural areas and rural people.

Pangandaman said that although an evaluation committee had been formed to shed light on the benefit for a member country from the inter-governmental organisation, the impact of a CIDRAP project was not always tangible.

“The accrued benefit is not always quantifiable and may not manifest itself in a short period of time,” he said.

CIRDAP is an inter-governmental regional organization, which was established in 1979 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and is headquartered in Dhaka.

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