Monday, February 14, 2011

Change in guard

In a recent development, aftermath of the exposure of series of scams and bad name to the incumbent UPA, government has announced major changes in the ministerial portfolios of many of the ministries. Looking into the series, some makeshift / course correction has also been seen in the agriculture and allied sector.

Sharad Pawar has been able to retain the Agriculture portfolio, but parted with the additional responsibility of Public Distribution and Food Supply, which was the cause of major headache to him, mainly in the view of unprecedented case of food inflation and cases of food mismanagement reported across the country. Additionally, he has been given the charge of Food Processing Ministry, which was earlier held by Subodh Kant Sahai. Food processing sector had achieved remarkable feats under Sh. Sahai, attracting a huge investment to the least known and talked about sector, so now the onus is on Mr. Pawar to continue the show and take it forward to a newer height to the untapped area of immense potentialities.

KV Thomas has been allotted the Ministry of Public Distribution, Food supply and Consumer affairs as Minister of State (Independent charges). The bygone year witnessed many incidences of food rotting and food storage inadequacy. There are many challenges on the front, i.e., to tame the unstoppable price rise, food management, ensuring proper distribution, revamping the outdated functioning of procurement agencies, comprising the causes of two contradictory sides- farmers and consumers, and other issues. , So, there lies a lot of scope for the improvement on the distribution side to take up major reigns and place the house in order to ensure food security for the nation and deliver the food to the needy, solely on merit.

Arun Subhashchandra Yadav has been inducted as Minister of State (MOS) for Agriculture. Earlier, he was Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. So, by taking over the new assignment, it is expected from Shri Yadav that he would rightly address farmers’ issues in the Agriculture Ministry. Born in1974 at Borawan Khargone in Madhya Pradesh, Shri Yadav is a commerce graduate and agriculturist by profession. He represents Khandwa Lok Sabha Constitutency in Parliament. For the first time he was elected to 14th Lok Sabha in by-election in 2007.

Harish Rawat took over the charge of MOS - Food processing Industry. He was born in 1949 in Almora. After qualifying for the LL.B. examination from the Lucknow University,he started his legal practice as an advocate. Later, Sh. Rawat joined the Indian Youth Congress and became its youngest chief in 1973. In 1980, he contested parliamentary election from Almora-Pithoragarh constituency on a Congress ticket and won the seat. Harish Rawat has held prominent positions in the Congress party and the government. Before joining the FPI ministry, he was acting as Minister of State for Labor and Employment.

We wish all the new office bearers a glorious time ahead. We hope that the dynamic team takes immediate and effective measures to tackle many of the long pending farmers’ issues, which would go a long way in bringing spectacular agricultural development, food security, and farmers’ welfare in India.

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