Why bringing ministries of Agriculture, rural development and Panchayati Raj under a single minister is seen as a welcome move?
The newly formed government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has combined the Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj under a single minister. This move is widely seen as an attempt to promote minimum government and maximum governance.
Benefits of the Integration
- The integration of the ministries will enhance convergence between programmes related to food, nutrition and livelihood security of millions of rural households.
- There is a large scale operations and degree of commonality between the agriculture and rural development ministries. MGNREGA which is the flagship programme of the rural development ministry accounts for nearly half of the Rural Development ministry’s budget. Agriculture and allied activities consume some 70 per cent of resources under MGNREGA. The integration will aid in enhancing efficiency of governance.
- The government has set the target to double the farmer’s income by 2022. To accomplish this, it has to be recognised that agriculture is a multi-dimensional enterprise which embraces post-production activities like markets and value-chains in a holistic agri-food system. Simultaneously, farmer welfare, building resilience of vulnerable communities, rejuvenating natural resources, addressing climate change. This necessitates convergence between the ministries of Agriculture and Rural development.
Rural economy of India is Agrarian. There is a need for both ministries to operate in tandem as each provides forward and backward linkages for other. Hence the integration of Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj under a single minister is seen as a long overdue move.