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Economic Survey of India 2012-13: Agriculture and Food, Sustainable Development and Climate

Mar 14, 2013 12:36 IST

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on 27 February 2013 presented the Economic Survey 2012-13 in the Lok Sabha of the Parliament.

India's Economic Survey for 2012-13 pegs the country's growth at 6.1-6.7% and inflation at 6.2-6.6% for the next fiscal 2013-14 and made a strong call for cutting subsidies.

The Economic Survey for 2012-13 depicted about the sectors like Agriculture and Food, Sustainable Development as well as Climate Change, the major points of which are described here:

Agriculture and Food

Growth in this sector was reasonably stable despite large weather shocks during 2009 (deficient south west monsoon), 2010-11 (drought/deficient rainfall in some states), and 2012-13 (delayed and deficient monsoon). The reason for this was an increase in gross capital formation (GCF) in this sector relative to GDP of this sector, which has consistently been improving from 16.1 per cent in 2007-8 to 19.8 per cent in 2011-12 (at constant 2004-5 prices).

Rate of growth of GCF accelerated to 9.7 per cent in the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) compared to a growth of 2.7 per cent during the Tenth Plan (2002-07).

During 2011-12, total foodgrains production reached an all-time high of 259.32 million tonnes. The production of 2012-13 kharif crops would be affected by deficiency in the south-west monsoon and the resultant acreage losses.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana: Allocation under the RKVY for 2012-13 is 9217 crore Rupees.

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: During the Twelfth Five year Plan, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies will be operationalised by restructuring the existing programmes.

Green Revolution for Eastern India: Eastern India comprises of seven states, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. 400 crore Rupees each was allocated for the programme during 2010-11 and 2011-12 and of 1000 crore Rupees during 2012-13.

Rainfed Area Development Programme: During 2012-13, the RADP is being implemented in 22 states. Macro Management of Agriculture: Of an outlay of 900 crore Rupees approved for 2012-13, 680.51 crore Rupees had been released as of now.
 
The Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm, and Maize (ISOPOM): Under the Scheme, assistance is provided for purchase of breeder seed, production of foundation seed, production and distribution of certified seed, distribution of seed minikits, distribution of plant protection chemicals, plant protection equipments and weedicides, supply of rhizobium culture/phosphate solubilizing bacteria, supply of improved farm implements, distribution of gypsum/pyrite/liming/dolomite, distribution of sprinkler sets and water-carrying pipes, and publicity for encouraging farmers to grow oilseeds and maize.

The National Food Security Bill: In order to address the issue of food security in a comprehensive manner, the Government introduced National Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha on 22 December, 2011. Early enactment of this bill is under process.

Sustainable Development and Climate Change

The State of the Environment Report by the MoEF clubs the issues under five key challenges faced by India, which are climate change, food security, water security, energy security, and managing urbanization.

As per the Second National Communication submitted by India to the UNFCCC, it is projected that the annual mean surface air temperature rise by the end of the century ranges from 3.5°C to 4.3°C whereas the sea level along the Indian coast has been rising at the rate of about 1.3 mm/year on an average. These climate change projections are likely to impact human health, agriculture, water resources, natural ecosystems, and biodiversity.

In this context to the rural areas, schemes for rural development and livelihood programmes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) are linked to land, soil, and water.

World leaders in 2012 continued to engage and deliberate in international forums dedicated to climate and environment and also in forums like the G20 where sustainable development and climate change were an integral part of the discussions.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), was held in June 2012 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (also known as Rio+20) and was attended at the heads of states level. The objective of the Rio+20 Conference was to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, review progress made and identify implementation gaps, and assess new and emerging challenges since the UNCSD held 20 years ago in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

The 18th session of the COP to the UNFCCC, that started on 26 November and concluded on 8 December 2012 in Doha, Qatar has resulted in a set of decisions (clubbed together as Doha Climate Gateway) aimed at advancing the implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol (KP). The key issues for the Doha conference were: amending the KP to implement the second commitment period under the Protocol; successfully concluding the work of the Bali Action Plan (BAP) within which there was urgent need for a clear path to climate finance; and planning the work under the Durban Platform (DP) for enhanced action.

In the Twelfth Five Year Plan, the PAT (Perform Achieve and Trade) scheme is likely to achieve about 15 million tonnes oil equivalent of annual savings in coal, oil, gas, and electricity (including 6.686 million ton of oil-equivalent energy savings of first phase).

Similarly, the RPO is creating domestic markets for renewable energy through regulatory interventions at state level. The RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligation) is the minimum level of renewable energy (out of total consumption) the obligated entities (DISCOMs, Captive Power Plants, and Open Access Consumers) are entitled to purchase in the area of a distribution licensee.

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