ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Archana S MathurSubscribe to Archana S Mathur

Status of Agriculture in India

This paper looks at trends in the growth of agricultural production in India over the last one and a half decades, identifies factors that affect agricultural growth and analyses constraints that have affected growth in the sector. On this basis, projections have been made on the future growth of the sector in the medium term, coterminous with the Eleventh Five-Year Plan. All-India level and state-wise analyses highlight the role of public investment/ government expenditure on agriculture as being the crucial determinant in stepping up the rate of growth of agricultural production. Given other factors, a consistent increase in public investment to 15 per cent per annum should lead to agricultural growth of 4 per cent, which is concomitant with the projected growth rate in the Eleventh Plan. The other factors that are important for a higher agricultural growth are fertiliser usage and agricultural prices.

Issues on Trade in Environmental Goods and Services

This paper attempts to conceptualise environmental goods and services in the context of negotiations under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation. It lists the items and examines the structure of trade for select countries including India. The analysis shows that while there is no agreement on an acceptable definition of environmental goods, a number of submissions on the list of items that could be categorised as such have been proposed, with an emphasis on greater reduction commitments under the WTO agreements. It is observed that a number of environmental goods that are of export interest to developing countries like India have been left out and at the same time a large number of other items that are not strictly in the realm of environmentally preferable goods are included. Hence, a decision at the WTO would have to be suitably negotiated such that there is a consensus on the conceptual parameters for environmental goods while giving member countries the leverage to decide on the list of environmentally preferred commodities, as per their domestic requirement and export interests.

Customs Tariff Structure in India

This paper examines changes in the customs tariff structure associated with the economic reforms launched in the 1990s. It shows that while average tariffs have been reduced substantially since 1991-92, their overall dispersion across commodities has increased, leading to an increase in the peak to average ratio. It is also clear that the revenue potential is higher than the actual customs collection. There is thus a case for doing away with all exemptions in order to make the tariff structure more transparent.
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