1. Agriculture World

India's Subsidies to Farmers is Quite Low As Compared to Western Nations: Anup Wadhawan

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

A top government official on Wednesday, 27th March 2019 said subsidies provided to the Indian farmers are quite low as compared to billions of dollars given by the western nations. 

Anup Wadhawan, Commerce Secretary said India offers only about USD 250/ annum per farmer but unluckily "our subsidies run into trouble" because they are not structured properly, so there is a need to learn from other nations.  

Developed countries that include the US and the European Union (EU) have alleged in the WTO (World Trade Organization) that India gives huge subsidies to its farmers. India always maintains that its agriculture subsidies are well below the WTO's limit of 10 %.  

America also dragged India to the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism regarding export subsidies being provided by New Delhi.  

Wadhawan said, "If you take a look at the kind of budgetary support that the developed nations provide to their economic agents, the numbers are mind boggling”.

He added that in the agriculture sector, the US and the EU provides huge subsidies but smartly put those in boxes which are WTO compatible.  

Citing a joke, Wadhawan said, cows in the EU get so much subsidy that they can be flown around the world in business class twice.  He said, "Our subsidies in farming for example are just about USD 250 per annum /farmer, in comparison to billions of dollars which the western countries provide".

Regarding the SEZs (special economic zones), he said there is a need to make these zones as zones of brilliance that should be investor friendly with state-of-the-art infrastructure.  Wadhawan told, "We need to change our SEZs into that model as competitive economic zones are not based on fiscal incentives but they are based on simple regulatory environment & single-window system.  

There is a need to observe Chinese model of these zones that are spread in a much wider space, Wadhawan told adding that India's SEZ policy does not get executed completely as envisaged.  

Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer, Amitabh Kant while speaking at the function said rising exports would help in increasing the country's economic growth.   He said rather than special economic zones, India needs coastal economic zones and the incentives must be linked to employment creation. He added that these zones will have a big positive impact on India's economic growth.

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