Niti’s 3-year agenda suggests key reforms to bolster economy
The Dollar Business Bureau
The Niti Aayog has released a three-year draft action agenda suggesting reforms in taxation, agriculture and energy sectors. The agenda, released by Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagriya, moots these pointers with an intention of growth-acceleration, infusing employment opportunities, besides calling for limiting the government’s role in activities that do not serve a public purpose.
A major reform was announced by the Aayog in the agriculture sector. It sought to double the income of farmers by 2022 by way of increasing productivity through irrigation, faster seed replacement and precise farming.
Also suggested were reforms in the APMC (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee) to enable farmers to get competitive rates. Farmers, however, should also shift to high-value commodities and businesses such as animal husbandry and fisheries to improve bottom-line.
The three year agenda has advocated for a simple tax structure, closure of loss-making enterprises, disinvestment in 20 state-owned companies, and consolidating the duty rates to a unified rate.
The Aayog found that availability of urban land was resulting in challenges for housing sector. It emphasised that reforms to be made in areas such as rent control act in-line with the model tenancy act, release of land held by sick units and offering a generous floor space index. For migrants, the Aayog has suggested to set up dormitory housing.
The draft-agenda sought to improve the energy sector, by suggesting consumer-friendly measures and elimination of black-carbon by 2022. For the transport and digital connectivity, the government think tank suggested infrastructure-strengthening across aviation, railways and all other forms of transport modes.
There has also been consensus among the Aayog to offer last-mile digital connectivity for facilitating e-governance and financial inclusion projects. To facilitate better jobs, the concept of coastal employment zones has been mooted.