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

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Concerns about Balancing Growth and Stability

Union Budget 2023–24 attempts to strike a balance between accelerating growth and achieving fiscal consolidation. The increased allocation to capital expenditure is important to crowd in private sector investment. However, the allocation to the Food Corporation of India and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited under capital expenditures is not likely to yield returns. On fiscal deficit reduction, more front-loading it’s adjustment in 2023–24 would have eased the problem of achieving the target of 4.5% of gross domestic product by 2025–26. Furthermore, the budgeted reduction is predicated on the assumption of significant compression in subsidies and transfers. Ultimately, the success of the intentions depends upon implementation.

Revamping Agricultural Strategy

To say that something is amiss in the country’s agricultural sector would be to understate the obvious. The paradox of starvation deaths in different parts of the country even as government granaries overflow with over 60 million tonnes of grain, India exporting wheat to animal feed makers abroad at a price below that at which the poor in the country are sold grain from the public distribution system, widespread fears over the impact of trade liberalisation, especially given the sustained fall in the prices of commodities such as rubber and coconut in the face of imports from east Asia – all these testify to a gathering crisis. The situation calls for a paradigm shift in agricultural strategy.

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