Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Monday said that India needs to capitalise on the major economic reforms that are underway to boost domestic free trade in the farming sector. Das added that India has emerged as the one of the leading global producers of crops and dairy products.

Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry National Council, Das said that the economic damage caused by the coronavirus crisis is a huge challenge for the country and there is a need to adopt a medium-term perspective on the economy. “The protection of lives and livelihood, and economic recovery haunt us day in and day out,” he said. “There are no credible answers we have to these questions. We must relentlessly fight against this invisible enemy.”

Das also spoke of five major changes taking place in the Indian economy. “The fortune is shifting in favour of the farm sector, the changing energy mix in favour of renewable energy sources.” he said. “Farm reforms can be game-changing in adding value to our economy.” Das also highlighted that India is leveraging information and communication technology and start-ups to power growth and that there are shifts in supply and value chains, both domestic and global, and infrastructure.

Das added that India needs policies for a sustained increase in farm income and the management of surplus agricultural yield.

The RBI governor said that India must become a part of the global value chain and conclude free trade agreements with countries like the United States. “The focus has to be on productivity and quality of our products and services,” Das said. “According to a World Bank 2020 report, an increase in global value chain participation can boost per capita income levels of a country.”

Das assured industries that the central bank will remain extremely vigilant amid the coronavirus crisis and take all necessary measures to support the economy.

India reported a record 49,931 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking its overall tally to 14,35,453. The toll rose to 32,771. More than 9.17 lakh people have recovered.