The Major Shift in Food and Farm Policy: Narendra Modi Government Perspective
The first time, entire environment had low inflation. The price index of the general population has increased by an overall average percentage of 4.3%. In the second term of the government, there was a higher shift in the index. During the lockdown period, inflation rates increased from about 25 to 52. There was a major shift seen in the food policies and work environment during the Covid-19 pandemic phase.
During the initial phases of the second term, there were surpluses. Prices of all kinds of agricultural products were low. As a result, the minimum support price increased the stocks of sugar and mills during the season. During the lockdown, the Modi government doubled the distribution of foodgrains. This distribution was increased through various government schemes and offers. It was done so because the poor lost jobs and had no income to fulfill even their basic needs.
The mills produced less sugar from the sugarcanes because of the incentivization. They started producing more ethanol to blend it with petrol. This policy change was not only in terms of sugar and cereals. The import duties were also raised on edible oil types and pulses. Various pulses had an increased rate with few consignments that were cleared. There were many that remained stuck within the barriers.
When we look at edible oils, there was an increase from 12.5% to 35%. The duties went up high and suddenly there was a major shift. There were laws related to farms that were declared by the government. It helped in regulating the market at a large scale. The industries were now to directly buy from the farmers. It was creating a hassle in the market therefore various shopkeepers and sellers were assigned the job.
In 2020, the rates and customs duty went low and were reduced especially in the oil field. Last month, the Narendra Modi government announced that there will be free imports of these pulses. This will be continued till 2025. Wheat and sugar imports have been banned as per the reports of 2022 and 2023 May data. At present, the government’s priority is to protect and ensure the sugarcane and fuel for upcoming resource availability. This initiative will be in continuous process till the year 2025 until everything is settles. The economy growth is in main focus of our Prime Minister.