New Delhi: Warning that farm sector distress
can have serious consequences on the economy, PMEAC chairman
C Rangarajan on Wednesday asked the government to raise additional
resources to provide relief to drought-hit people and increase
import of essential commodities to check price rise.
"Distress in agriculture (due to drought) will have other
serious dimensions. The government may have to find additional
resources to meet the requirements of the affected people," he said to a news agency after taking over as the head of the Prime Minister`s
Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) for the second time.
As regards the impact of drought on economy, he said, the
growth rate could slip to 6-6.5 percent from 6.7 percent in
the previous fiscal.
"The Indian economy has been doing well in the past
several years but the growth rate came down to 6.7 percent
last year because of the impact of international financial
crisis... this year the economy will grow between 6 and 6.5
percent. The drought will have dampening impact on the
overall growth rate," he said.
"As a result of the drought there is a tendency of the
prices to rise... the stock of foodgrains available with the
government is large... but wherever there is a scarcity and
where imports are possible we should do it. If the production
of pulses fall there should be a greater effort to import
pulses," he said.