Ahluwalia says will focus on farmers' welfare
The government will work towards farmers' welfare and make Indian agriculture globally competitive, new Minister of State for Agriculture, S S Ahluwalia on Wednesday said.
New Delhi: The government will work towards farmers' welfare and make Indian agriculture globally competitive, new Minister of State for Agriculture, S S Ahluwalia on Wednesday said.
The 65-year old Ahluwalia, an MP from Darjeeling in West Bengal, today took charge of the office in the presence of Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and secretaries.
"The challenges that our agriculture sector faced in the past and now are different. I have been given an opportunity to work in this sector. The emphasis will be on farmers' welfare and on making our agriculture globally competitive," Ahluwalia told reporters.
There was a time when India had a "ship-to-mouth" existence, but the country has now become a net exporter because of farmers' efforts, he said.
The emphasis has always been on agriculture welfare and not on farmers, who are the key drivers of the sector, he said, adding that the efforts would be made to improve farmers' welfare.
Ahluwalia, who has also been given charge of Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving him the opportunity to work in this crucial sector.
"In the next three years, we will implement what we had promised in 2014 elections," he added.
Welcoming the new minister, Radha Mohan Singh said that induction of three ministers of state for agriculture will help speedy implementation of various agricultural programmes.
Ahluwalia was a member of Rajya Sabha representing Bihar and Jharkhand in 1986-1992, 1992-1998, 2000-2006 and 2006-2012. He was Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from June 2010 to May 2012.
He has been a member of various Parliamentary Committees and held various portfolios in the past including Minister of State for Urban Affairs and Employment and Parliamentary Affairs.