Centre mulls strategic reserve for rice

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Coimbatore, Sep 14 (UNI) Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the government was contemplating strategic reserve for rice as the procurement has touched 274 lakh tonnes.

Inaugurating the 80th anniversary of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Coimbatore chapter here, he said the Centre was planning to keep rice reserve on the lines of the strategic reserve of wheat with 50 lakh tonnes.

Though agricultural sector had been given priority in the country, unless trade and industries developed, the country could not achieve economic growth, he added.

The agricultural sector had developed at the maximum level contributing to four per cent of the country's economic growth, he said adding the government would be able to procure 226 lakh tonnes of wheat.

He called upon the industrialists to invest with long term vision, which would help the country's economic growth.

He said when the developed nations' growth had stagnated India was able to achieve the growth rate of over eight per cent for the last four years.

Mr Chidambaram said there was a capital stagnation in the energy sector and the country was able to generate 57,000 MW power for the last 15 years.

The Ministry had planned to produce additional power of 78,500 MW in the next 15 years, he said adding that it was achievable, when China could generate additional one lakh MW power every year.

Except Kerala in southern part of the country and some of the eastern and central region, most of the states were able to attract direct foreign investments, he added.

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