4 per cent agri growth will check inflation in 12th Plan: Sen

Food inflation
New Delhi, Nov 10: The Planning Commission today (Nov 10) said 4 per cent growth of the agriculture sector is required to keep a check on inflationary pressure in the 12th Five-Year Plan, beginning April, 2012.

"During the 11th Plan, we will have 3.3 to 3.5 per cent agriculture growth... short of (targeted) 4 per cent... In a sense, inflation shows that this is simply not enough (to tame price rise)," Planning Commission Member Abhijit Sen said here while addressing a conference on agriculture.

Sen also suggested that growth in production of foodgrains has been satisfactory, but the country needs to improve production of other crops, including pulses and oilseeds. The Commission is aiming at 4 per cent farm growth in the 12th Plan (2012-17), the same level targeted in the 11th Plan (2007-12).

Sen's statement is significant in view of persistently high inflation, particularly in food items. The government has come under severe attack as inflation is hovering close to the double-digit mark. Inflation for the month of September stood at 9.72 per cent and food inflation in the country touched a nine-month high of 12.21 per cent in the week ended October 22 on the back of costlier vegetables, pulses and milk.

About supply side constraints fuelling food inflation, he said, "The supply side constraints are not worse than they were." Earlier last month, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said, "The current inflation pressures are mainly because of supply side constraints of agricultural products."


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