Raising farmers income key to better agri-production: NITI Aayog Vice Chairman

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Many experts suggested measures for raising farm productivity, reducing cost of farming and improving market access for farmers, said NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar.

These immediate challenges to the economy topped the extensive discussion that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior cabinet colleagues had on Wednesday with economists and sector experts from across the country. "Someone said that it is time now to target on job growth", Kumar informed media. He said the findings of a task force set up by NITI Aayog to examine employment data were "startling" and that they suggested a "better picture on the jobs front than what people thought". "I am trying to create capability in the Aayog hopefully in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour to trap this data", he said.

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The session on "Economic Policy: The Road Ahead", organised by government think tank NITI Aayog, was attended by a host of ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, NITI Aayog functionaries and leading economists.

The participants expressed their views on macro-economy, agriculture, rural development, employment, health, education, manufacturing, exports, urban development, infrastructure and connectivity.

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The meeting was organized by NITI Aayog, on the theme "Economic Policy - The Road Ahead".

In his intervention, the Prime Minister thanked various participants for their suggestions and observations, on various aspects of the economy. Kumar also added that the National Medical Commission Bill was supported by all the experts including doctors. But, the World Bank numbers released on Wednesday are quite optimistic - the economic growth is expected to accelerate to 7.3% this year and 6.7 per cent in 2017. Another big idea discussed during the meeting was to adopt stronger export-driven growth strategy and increasing income of farmers.

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There is better news on employment on what have been showed, he said.

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