Agricultural GDP to Grow at 4.6% during the Current Financial Year

Food Grain Production Expected to Touch 263mn tonnes

Lauding the performance of the agriculture sector, P. Chidambaram, Minister of Finance in his Interim Budget speech on 17 February said that the food grain production in the country is expected to touch 263 million tonnes during the current year. This is much higher that the food grain production of 255.36 million tonnes during 2012-13. The Minister added that the estimates of production of sugarcane, cotton, pulses, oilseeds and quality seeds are also likely to set new records.

Chidambaram said that agricultural GDP growth increased to 3.1 per cent during the period 2004-09, and further to 4.0 per cent in the first four years of UPA-II. In the current year, agricultural GDP growth is estimated to touch 4.6 per cent. The Finance Minister informed that in 2013-14, agriculture exports are likely to cross USD 45 billion as compared to USD 41 billion in 2012-13.

Highlighting the achievements made in the area of agricultural credit, the Finance Minister said that agricultural credit is likely to touch Rs 735,000 crore, exceeding the target of Rs 700,000 crore.

Coming to the manufacturing sector, the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said that the National Manufacturing Policy has set the goal of increasing the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 per cent and create 100 million jobs over a decade. Eight National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) have been announced along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor(DMIC) and nine projects has been approved by the DMIC Trust. The Minister added that three more corridors connecting Chennai and Bengaluru, Bengaluru and Mumbai, and Amritsar and Kolkata are under different stages of preparatory work.

Additional capacities are being installed in major manufacturing industries such as steel, cement, refinery, power and electronics, he said. Several measures have been taken to promote micro, small and medium enterprises.