THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Every agricultural household in the state gaining an entrepreneur or industry status and eventually reversing the downward growth in the farming sector could not be Utopian.
Finance Minister K M Mani has mooted a development strategy ahead of the framing of the annual budget of the state, entailing the much-needed growth in the primary sector through infusion of modern technology and mechanization and a paradigm shift in the traditional concept of farming.
Kicking off the pre-budget consultations here on Tuesday, the Finance Minister hoped to achieve a two-digit growth rate for the state’s economy, in which, boost to the primary sector forms the core idea.
“Against the prevailing 9.5 per cent growth rate, which is above the national average, achieving at least 10 per cent growth is possible,” Mani said.
‘’Alongside measures to curtail wasteful expenditure, the state has to think about more revenue receipts without fueling price rise and harming the commoners,’’ he said.
‘’The tertiary sector of the state’s economy, addressing the service area, as well as the secondary sector is poised to achieve the desired growth, but it is the primary agricultural sector which needs a massive transformation,’’ he said .
‘’But unfortunately, down the years, neither the Central-State Governments and officials, nor ministerial-level intervention matching the potential of the agri-sector has come forward. Growth rate in the primary sector of the state is in a really bad shape,’’ he observed, pointing out that it was an appalling 0.64 per cent.
The Finance Minister said that it was not the corporate sector income which had to be counted in a solid economy but increase in home savings which mattered. “A growth rate of 1 per cent in the agricultural sector would definitely bring in a growth impact of 2-3 per cent in the secondary and tertiary sectors,’’ the minister said. ‘’In a state like Kerala where there are 43 lakh educated unemployed, ways to boost entrepreneurship is all the more important. The Entrepreneurship Development Mission programme, which was announced in the last budget and launched recently, is an initiative in this direction,’’ Mani said.