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Evidence Of World’s Most Incompetent Government – 53 rd NDC ©

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  • Ravinder Sekhon
    Evidence Of World’s Most Incompetent Government – 53 rd NDC © While overwhelming majority appreciate my work there are also few who don’t like my
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2007
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      Evidence Of World’s Most Incompetent Government – 53 rd NDC ©
      While overwhelming majority appreciate my work there are also few who don’t like my aggressiveness in matters of PM and President. Here is the latest evidence.

      This President has taken exceptional interest in development matters but predominantly caused harm to the country in promoting River Link, Jatropha and SEZ than any good. But PM and his cabinet is responsible for “Driving Indian Economy” and provide leadership to over 20 million public servants.

      Mind you friends ideally we are not to have a single public servant who is unfit for the job he holds. I have lived in developed countries for seven months but never come across any incident of people were under performing than expectations- they may lose out to more productive rivals. Growth in developed countries is driven by innovation, use of advanced technologies and ever improving productivity- there is very little progress in these in India.

      India is an ocean of grossly incompetent head of governments and departments, large majority of them don’t know their job and simply don’t do anything and are also very corrupt.

      Manmohan Singh speeches at 53 rd NDC and clippings form the basis of this message.

      When India has unfit PM we get a bizarre situation. “---the growth of the agriculture sector since the mid-1990s has been a cause for concern. In view of the seriousness of the situation, I (Manmohan Singh) had then (December2006) proposed to call a meeting of the National Development Council to discuss exclusively and deal with issues related to the management of our food and agricultural economy.

      At the end of third year in office he called an exclusive meeting of NDC. Even though admittedly it was a very serious matter it took six months to arrange it.

      In concluding remarks he promises 4% growth but only at the end of Eleventh five years plan or 2012. Let me ask friends, will 4% growth in 2012 overcome extreme hunger and malnutrition in the country at present?


      “--- achievable if only we are willing to take tough decisions and back it up with concerted action.” Even 4% growth requires tough decisions and concerted action. PERHAPS HE IS NOT MAKING PROMISE OF EVEN 4% GROWTH BY 2012.

      He is also very clever – Rs. 25,000 Crores or just $6.25b he promised shall be disbursed over four years well after he is “Kicked Out By People” in forth coming elections. That is the only option people have to discard failed head of governments. But let me also clarify Vajpayee was equally worse.

      He is also very smart in advising the chief ministers to have 4-5 years medium, term goal and tells them there is no need to hurry up. If he fails let every one else also fail.

      His government however never fails to mention India will overtake US Economy in 2050 – I doubt India will be address just one issue of Hunger by then at present rate.


      I have left the space blank to fill the line with your own perception of Manmohan Singh and his government.

      Ravinder Singh June01, 2007


      PM's opening remarks at the 53rd Meeting of the National Development Council (NDC)

      May 29, 2007
      New Delhi

      “I am extremely happy to welcome you all to this 53rd meeting of the National Development Council.

      We last met in December 2006 to discuss the Approach Paper to the 11th Five Year Plan. While endorsing the overall approach to the Plan and expressing cautious optimism about achieving a growth target reaching 10% in the last year of the 11th Plan, there was a sense of urgency about the need to redress the emerging weaknesses in our agricultural sector. At less than 2% per annum growth, the growth of the agriculture sector since the mid-1990s has been a cause for concern. In view of the seriousness of the situation, I had then proposed to call a meeting of the National Development Council to discuss exclusively and deal with issues related to the management of our food and agricultural economy. We are here today to reflect on this very important matter and identify steps that we can collectively and individually take to improve the lot of our farmers and agriculture sector as a whole.

      Earlier, in the 51st meeting of the NDC held in June 2005, we had agreed to constitute an NDC Sub-Committee on “Agriculture and Related Issues” under the Chairmanship of my distinguished colleague Shri Sharad Pawar, the Union Agriculture Minister. The purpose of the sub-committee was to examine in-depth the problems facing Indian agriculture and to suggest implementable action programmes.

      The NDC Committee has worked diligently on this important subject, setting up several sub-Committees chaired by some distinguished Chief Ministers. The report of the NDC Committee, which has been circulated for this meeting, draws on a number of other reports of expert groups and presents a broad agenda of the policy changes we urgently need in managing our agricultural economy. I would like to congratulate my distinguished colleague, Shri Sharad Pawarji for his leadership in getting the NDC Committee to complete its work in a relatively short period of time.

      In order to build on the Committee’s recommendations and develop an agricultural strategy for the 11th Plan, I had directed the Planning Commission to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and come up with specific proposals to promote State specific agricultural strategies. The Planning Commission has been interacting with the Ministry of Agriculture to come up with the main components of this strategy. Later on, I would like the Agriculture Minister and the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission to highlight the key features of this strategy that is suggested for revitalizing our agricultural sector.

      Before we go on to hear the detailed presentation by the Deputy Chairman and the interventions of my cabinet colleagues, the Agriculture Minister and the Finance Minister, I would like to share some of my thoughts with you.

      The importance of agriculture in our economy can hardly be overstated.
      Reversing the prolonged slowdown in this sector is essential for our goal of inclusive growth, for ensuring that growth benefits all sections of society and all regions of our vast country. The rates of growth of agriculture in the last decade have been poor and are a major cause of rural distress in some parts of our country. Farming is increasingly becoming an unviable activity, particularly because of the nature of landholdings. Small and marginal farms have become an unviable proposition and till we make farming as a whole viable at this scale, it would be virtually impossible to reduce rural poverty and distress.

      The solutions to the problems affecting agriculture have been analysed many times. In the recent past, we have had the benefit of the reports of the National Commission on Farmers, of the 11th Plan Working Groups and Steering Committee and now, the report of the NDC Sub-Committee. The issues are reasonably well known and I am sure that the XI Plan would come up with effective, pragmatic and practical strategies to tackle this gigantic task.

      On the input side, there are issues such as improving the management of our water resources; raising the quality of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and improving the access to credit both in terms of quantity and in terms of its reach. On the post-harvest side, there are issues such as improving marketing and post harvest management. One feature that stands out is the lack of any breakthroughs in agricultural production technologies in recent years.
      There is today a technology fatigue, which we need to address.

      There are institutional issues such as improving the quality of agricultural research and making it more relevant to the actual needs of different agro-climatic regions; reforming the cooperative system by implementing the Vaidyanathan Committee’s recommendations; designing credible and effective agricultural insurance schemes; and, improving extension services and making them truly responsive to local needs. Further, we have the specific issue of tackling the stagnation in rainfed agriculture. We also have the larger issue of increasing the total investment in agriculture - both public and private investment. This needs to be seen in the context of a larger trend whereby subsidies have been increasing but investment has been declining. We have already taken a number of initiatives to deal with this problem. We have launched the National Horticulture Mission, established recently the National Rainfed Area Authority and the National Fisheries Development Board. The Plan
      allocation for agriculture has been increased very substantially. Steps have been taken to deal with the immediate problem of suicide prone districts.

      While these efforts will continue, we need to focus on specific strategies to improve the short term and medium term performance of this crucial sector which still continues to support almost 2/3rd of our rural population. One of the key features of our agricultural scenario is the presence of substantial yield gaps in all States of the Union. There are gaps in the yields between states and regions. There are gaps between actual yields and the yields that are technologically feasible. These yield increase potentials vary from 40% to 100%. Increased production in the next three or four years can only come from bridging this massive yield gap or expanding area as the scope for area expansion is extremely limited. Hence, therefore the need to focus on yield gap reduction. By focussing efforts on bridging this yield gap, I am certain that we can achieve substantial results in a short time span of three to four years.

      However, we must recognize that there is no easy solution to this problem. The gaps in yields arise from a variety of factors. They could be due to differences in soil and climatic characteristics; they could be due to differences in irrigation and water availability; they could be due to differences in farming practices; they could be due to differences in technologies under use. Bridging these gaps therefore requires localised, state - specific strategies based on local agro-climatic conditions and constraints and responding to felt needs of the local population. I therefore believe that working together with the States, it should be possible to evolve such area specific plans and strategies. And the Central Government would be willing to support such plans on a reasonably large scale - on a scale large enough to make a visible impact in the next three to four years.

      What we have been missing in agriculture so far is a common thread that ties all our interventions into a common whole and focuses on tangible outcomes. We need to move away from mechanical implementation of fragmented schemes towards an integrated holistic approach which is based on a mix of interventions consistent with local conditions and local requirements.

      If we all agree on this today, we can then direct the Planning Commission to prepare the outline of a major program for providing central support to states which prepare such location specific plans. I believe a program of this nature can provide the critical breakthrough we have so far been looking for and enable states to integrate all the various disciplines in farming - including irrigation - into a common umbrella with a focus on specific outcomes targeted at bridging the yield gaps.

      There is therefore today a sense of urgency to this from the food security angle as well. The recent rise in prices of certain food products has been the result of slow supply response to rising demand. This has been particularly true of wheat, pulses and edible oils. We have had to import many of these products to ensure adequate availability of essential food items. Therefore, we need to work towards a rapid rise in the production of wheat, rice, pulses and edible oils so that prices can be kept under check and there is adequate supply of these to the common man. We can also consider launching a Food Security Mission for raising production of these items in the next three years.

      There are many other issues which the NDC Sub-Committee has touched upon. It has made valuable suggestions on expanding irrigation, in improving agricultural research, in restructuring the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund, restructuring the fertilizer subsidy system, improving seed supply and revamping the extension system. As agriculture is a state subject, most of the planning and implementation of strategies and programmes is best done at the state level. We need therefore state specific strategies which take into account your individual resource endowments and capabilities and build on these for a strong and vibrant agriculture sector. We need district agricultural plans which can integrate resources available under all existing schemes including the Backward Regions Grant Fund and National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme to give a new thrust to agriculture. I would only like to emphasise that whatever strategies we choose to adopt, they must deliver results
      in the short and medium term so that tangible benefits are visible – visible to farmers, visible to consumers and visible to the rural economy as a whole. This is important if we have to avert any crisis in the agricultural sector and fulfill the needs of a growing economy.

      I look forward to your views on this very important matter.”

      PM’s closing remarks at the 53rd Meeting of National Development Council (NDC)
      May 29, 2007

      We have reached the end of a long and fruitful discussion on the problems of our agriculture sector and possible strategies for revitalizing it in the next few years. The discussion was appropriate in many ways. It has focused our collective attention on agriculture and firmly placed it at the top of our priorities –both at the Centre and in the States. This is as it should be, given that over 60% of our people still depend on it for sustenance and livelihood.

      I also note that there is a broad agreement on the approach to be taken for improving the conditions of our farmers and the performance of our agriculture. We have covered a large number of issues impacting on all aspects on agriculture. At the end of the day’s discussion, I am hopeful that our collective will and resolve can make a positive difference to future of our agriculture. In this room, we have a collection of the most important levels of national leadership in the nation and a wealth of wisdom. I am confident that if we commit ourselves individually and collectively to the task of revitalizing our agriculture, we can certainly transform our agriculture. I am also confident that the goal of 4% annual growth in agriculture and allied activities in 11th Five Year Plan is certainly feasible and achievable if only we are willing to take tough decisions and back it up with concerted action.

      During the course of our discussions, a number of very valuable suggestions were made by the Chief Ministers. The Planning Commission has taken note of each of these suggestions and will reflect on them in the coming months. What is striking from your comments is the diversity in views and opinions and the wide variation in priorities between states. This is but natural. We are all simultaneously all united to do everything in our power to get our agriculture once again on the road of prosperity.

      There are differences in the requirements of highly irrigated states and those of relatively dry states with very low rainfall. There are states, which have exhausted their groundwater potential whereas there are others, which still have a lot of groundwater to tap. There are states, which are concerned about low institutional credit coverage while there are others worried about high farmer indebtedness. Some states are concerned about diversifying into more remunerative crops while others are bothered about low productivity. This only confirms the prognosis of the NDC Sub-Committee that the problems of agriculture need localized solutions taking into account local resources endowments, capabilities as well as constraints. This, I am even more convinced, is the only way forward. This is reflected in the resolution we have adopted today.

      The single biggest message coming out of the today’s deliberations and the resolution that we have adopted is to allow states to draw up their own plans for agriculture. I agree that state specific plans taking into account local needs and capabilities should be at the core of any agricultural revamp strategy for our nation. These state plans should build upon district plans, which must be the basic building blocks and the main vehicle for integrating all available resources at the district level.

      The state plans should be comprehensive with both an immediate objective and a medium-term goal for 4-5 years. They should build upon current base line levels of production, yields and investments and must have clear, tangible targets in terms of raising agricultural output and yields. They can take into account all the endowments and constraints in a state and must have credible strategies and programmes for achieving the targeted goals. They should address all supply constraints be they seeds, fertilizers, water or credit.

      Such plans can certainly deliver the desired results. The Central Government will commit the necessary funds to finance plans under this programme if states maintain their base line levels of expenditure and contribute to some extent as their share of the plans. This will ensure that public investment in agriculture – both from the states and the Centre – will rise as it must, thus addressing a major complaint from many quarters in the last many years. The Central Government will commit Rs. 25,000 crores in the next four years as its share of funding for this major new programme. The Planning Commission and the Agriculture Ministry will finalise the details of this programme in the next two months. I hope states will make full use of this opportunity and live up to the collective aspirations of our people so eloquently expressed in this hall today itself.

      While these plans will impact agriculture generally in all its aspects, there is an additional need to immediately arrest the stagnation in the production of rice, wheat and pulses. Based on the agreement arrived at today, we will initiate steps to launch a Food Security Mission in the coming months. Hopefully, this will reduce our need to import basic food items.

      Our resolution touches upon many other important and relevant issues. It lays down in broad terms the direction we should move for improving agriculture research and extension systems, expanding irrigation, and improving credit availability. I will touch on a few of these and on some others as well.
      Many Chief Ministers have raised the issue of greater emphasis on irrigation and the need for more funding. The Planning Commission will certainly look into this issue and finalise an approach for utilizing our irrigation potential both more effectively and efficiently.

      We will also look at the problems of water deficit states and the possibility of transferring water from surplus areas to deficit areas. On credit, the problem of having a large number of farmers outside any institutional coverage needs to be redressed soon. I urge the Union Finance Minister to expand the programme of financial inclusion so that we can achieve universal coverage in a definite time span of 4 years.

      I would be failing in my duty if I do not address the issue of subsidies and equity in land holdings. We must reflect whether subsidies, though necessary, are being delivered in the best possible manner. Are input subsidies better delivered directly to farmers or by subsidizing the input itself? We need to question both the quantity and the manner in which subsidies are delivered – whether it is fertilizer subsidy or drip irrigation subsidy or any other subsidy. I request Chief Ministers to apply themselves to coming up with improved models of subsidy delivery, which can show the way forward for others. We must also ensure that small landholders and women who work in farms are adequately protected against risks and benefit from all our efforts to improve agricultural performance.

      We have taken today important decisions here – decisions which are vital to our national goals of becoming a prosperous, equitable and inclusive nation. Your collective political leadership and will are capable of transforming our agricultural economy and in the process help rid the country of chronic poverty and disease. I am confident that after today’s meeting, we will put all our might in achieving the goals we have set for ourselves.

      With these words, I bring to a close the 53rd Meeting of the National Development Council. I thank each one of you for your contribution to our debate today.

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