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  • 01 September, 2022

  • 9 Min Read

Abhijeet Sen

Abhijeet Sen

Abhijit Sen, a well-known economist and former member of the Planning commission, just passed away.

About Abhijeet Sen

  • He served as a previous member of the Indian Planning Commission and was a well-known agricultural economist (from 2004 to 2014, PC disbanded in 2014).
  • Prior to joining the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1985, he taught economics at Sussex, Oxford, Cambridge, and Essex.

Principal Contributions:

  • He was given the responsibility of recommending support prices for agricultural commodities when he was made head of the Commission on Agricultural Cost and Prices (CACP) in 1997.
  • He was the author of the High-Level Committee on Long-Term Grain Policy's report from July 2000, which advocated fixing MSP based on all cultivation expenditures that were paid out in cash and in kind.
  • The "Swaminathan formula," which advocated that MSPs for crops be at least 50% higher than the cost of production, later incorporated this formulation.
  • He had also advocated eliminating the "below poverty line" and "above poverty line" classifications in favour of a universal public distribution system with uniform central issue prices for rice and wheat.
  • The National Food Security Act of 2013 made use of this under the UPA government, which was governed by Congress.
  • In addition, he provided input for the Tendulkar Committee's report on poverty lines.
  • He bemoaned "mechanical mining of the soil" and a decline in organic carbon content in 2017.

Supporter of decentralized governance:

  • He vowed to increase state autonomy while also strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions.
  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), which Abhijit sen conceptualised as a member of the Planning Commission in 2007, is an example of autonomy for the States.

Awarded for Public Service:

  • He received the Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his contributions to society.

About Commission of Agricultural Cost and Prices

  • It is an associated office of the Indian government's Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. In January 1965, it was created.
  • Determines the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) by taking numerous aspects into account (like demand and supply, cost of production, intercrop parity, etc).
  • Currently, the Commission is made up of a Chairman, Member Secretary, one Official Member, and two Members (Non-Official).
  • Recommends to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs the MSPs for the notified Kharif and Rabi crops (CCEA). The Government is not required to follow its recommendations.
  • Currently, CACP recommends MSPs for 23 different commodities, including 7 different kinds of cereal (paddy, wheat, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, barley, and ragi), 5 different pulses (gramme, tur, moong, urad), 7 different oilseeds (groundnut, rapeseed-mustard, soybean, sesamum, sunflower, safflower, and nigerseed), and 4 different commercials (copra, sugarcane, cotton and raw jute).
  • Every year, the CACP submits Price Policy Reports with its recommendations to the government, one for each of the five classes of commodities it covers: Kharif crops, Rabi crops, Sugarcane, Raw Jute, and Copra.

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Source: The Indian Express

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