Farm laws a step forward, but govt needs to strengthen safety net: IMF

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government needs to strengthen the social safety net and ensure that the job market can accommodate those who would be impacted by the farm reforms initiated by it, says the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF said the three farm laws do have the potential to “a significant step forward for agricultural reforms” in India.
The measures, it said, will enable farmers to directly contract with sellers, allow farmers to retain a greater share of the surplus by reducing the role of middle men, enhance efficiency and support rural growth.
“However, it is crucial that the social safety net adequately protects those who might be adversely impacted during the transition to this new system.
“This may require further strengthening of the social safety net and insuring that the job market can accommodate those that may be impacted by the reforms,” Gerry Rice, director, communication, said on Thursday.
He was replying to a question on the farmers agitation against the reforms during a media interaction in Washington, the transcript of which was accessed here.
Rice said the growth benefits of the farm reforms “will depend, critically, on the effectiveness and the timing of their implementation.”
So, the government “need to pay attention to those issues as well with the reform,” he said.