LSP asks PM to focus on liberating agriculture

Lok Satta Party (LSP) President Dr Jayaprakash Narayan has urged Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to abandon ad hoc and antedeluvian policies in respect of three commodities–food grains, cotton and edible oils which have let down farmers and posed long-term dangers to the economy. In a letter to Prime Minister copy of which was released to media here, he said trade in agricultural commodities should be fully and irrevocably liberalized so that farmers get the best prices that markets can offer. The price signal will boost long-term production. Dr Narayan urged the Prime Minister convening a meeting of Agriculture and Food Ministers on April 30 to sort out differences between them on export of agricultural produce. Although the rest of the economy has largely been liberated from the clutches of license-permit-control-quota raj, ‘thanks largely due to your stewardship of the economy during 1991-96,’ agriculture was still subject to arbitrary and unjustified controls, he pointed out.