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Agri credit to cross Rs 7 lakh cr;exports to surge over $45 bn

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Agri credit to cross Rs 7 lakh cr;exports to surge over $45 bn
New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) Agriculture credit is likely to exceed the target of Rs 7,00,000 crore while farm exports are expected to increase to over USD 45 billion in the current fiscal, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today. "We are proud of stellar performance of agriculture. ...Agriculture credit is likely to touch Rs 7,35,000 crore, exceeding the target of Rs 7,00,000 crore," he said while presenting the interim Budget for 2014-15 fiscal.

Chidambaram also stated that agricultural exports are likely to cross USD 45 billion this fiscal, as against USD 41 billion in 2012-13. Highlighting the improved growth of agriculture sector during the UPA tenure, the Minister said: "Agriculture GDP growth increased to 3.1 per cent in five years of UPA-I, further to 4 per cent in the first four years of UPA-2. In the current year, agri growth is estimated at 4.6 per cent."

Chidambaram attributed the likely increase in farm growth this fiscal to estimated bumper production in various crops. "Foodgrain production in 2012-13 was 255 million tonnes. The estimate for the current year is 263 million tonnes. The estimate of production of sugarcane, cotton, pulses, oilseeds point to a new record," he said. The likely record foodgrain production is on the back of a good monsoon this year. PTI LUX MJH KSR

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