2. Land Reforms:
Land reform measures to abolish intermediary interests in land and transfer of land to actual tiller of the soil were expected to be taken up on a priority basis. Measures taken under this head included:
(i) Abolition of intermediaries.
(ii) Tenancy reforms to –
(a) Regulate rents paid by tenants to landlords;
(b) Provide security of tenure to tenants; and
(c) Confer ownership rights on tenants.
(iii) Imposition of ceilings on holdings in a bid to procure land for distribution among landless labourers and marginal farmers.
3. Institutional Credit:
After nationalisation of banks in 1969, nationalised banks have paid increasing attention to the needs of agriculture. Regional Rural Banks were also set up to deal specially with the needs of agricultural credit. A National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NAB ARD) was also set up.
As a result of the expansion of institutional credit facilities to farmers, the importance of moneylenders has declined steeply and so has the exploitation of farmers at the hands of moneylenders.
4. Procurement and Support Prices:
Another policy measure of significant importance is the announcement of procurement and support prices to ensure fair returns to the farmers so that even in years of surplus, the prices do not tumble down and farmers do not suffer losses This is necessary to ensure that farmers are not ‘penalized’ for producing more.
In fact, the policy of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices has been adopted to announce fairly high prices in a bid to provide incentive to the farmers to expand production.
5. Input Subsidies to Agriculture:
The objective of input subsidisation is to increase agricultural production and productivity by encouraging the use of modern inputs in agriculture. Under the government policy, various inputs to the farmers are supplied at prices which are below the level that would have prevailed in the open market.
6. Food Security System:
In a bid to provide food grains and other essential goods to consumers at cheap and subsidised rates, the Government of India has built up an elaborate food security system in the form of Public Distribution System (PDS) during the planning period.
PDS not only ensures availability of food grains at cheap prices to the consumers but also operates as a ‘safety net’ by maintaining larger stocks of food grains in order to combat any shortages and shortfalls that might occur in some years and/or in certain areas of the country.
7. Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS):
The Government has streamlined the PDS by issuing special cards to people below poverty line (BPL) and selling essential articles under PDS to them at specially subsidised prices with better monitoring of the delivery system.
Under the new system the states are required to formulate and implement foolproof arrangements for identification of the poor, for delivery of food grains to fair-price shops and for its distribution in a transparent and accountable manner at the FPS level.
Under TPDS each poor family is entitled to 10 kg of food grains per month at specially subsidised prices. With effect from April 2002, the BPL allocation of food grains was increased from 20 kg (in April 2000) to 35 kg per family per month. According to Economic Survey 2007-08, 73% of the poor and very poor families were benefited from TPDS.
8. Rural Employment Programmes:
PDS alone cannot serve as an effective safety net. This is due to the reason that unless the poor have adequate purchasing power they cannot buy their requirements from the PDS. Therefore, large-scale poverty alleviation programmes in the form of rural employment programmes are required to provide purchasing power to the poor.
On account of this reason the government introduced various poverty alleviation programmes particularly from Fourth Plan onwards like Small Farmers Development Agency (SFDA), Marginal Farmers and Agricultural Labour Development Agency (MFAL), National Rural Employment Programme (NREP), Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP), Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY), Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS), etc.