Agricultural growth doubled under UPA government: PM

August 7th, 2008 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said India’s agriculture sector grew at 4.7 percent in the last three years, nearly double the growth registered during the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. “In the last three years, we have achieved growth rate in agriculture of 4.7 percent,” said the prime minister after releasing a book, “Fast Forward”, a collection of speeches and interventions of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

Appreciating Pawar’s contribution to the development of his parliamentary constituency Baramati, Singh said: “There is a need to replicate what Sharadji has done in his constituency to give employment to the people and eradicate poverty.”

The prime minister said his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had taken a number of initiatives to increase investment in rural infrastructure like education, healthcare, housing, electrification, agriculture, irrigation and road.

“These initiatives will bear fruit in the medium to long term to provide immediate relief from the burden of debt,” he asserted.

Referring to the government schemes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and debt waiver, Singh said one of his government’s main achievements in the last four years was to “lay the foundation of a new era of development for rural India”.

“Our overall approach to rural development and agrarian challenges is based on our understanding that we must end forever this unacceptable gap between India and Bharat,” said the prime minister.

The who’s who of the capital’s political elite were present at the book launch, including union ministers from Maharashtra like Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora. Other cabinet ministers like Laloo Prasad and Prithviraj Chauhan were also spotted.

Besides, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister Narayan Rane registered their presence at the event to felicitate Pawar.

The UPA’s new ally, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who voted for the government at the parliamentary trust July 22, also attended the gala event.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party was represented by its spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |