Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the third budget of the Modi government for the fiscal year 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. At the outset he outlined what he said were the nine pillars on which the government would base its “transformative agenda” for the economy in the coming year. First among those was agriculture and farmers’ welfare, the minister said, listing out the measures that he said aimed at doubling the income of farmers by 2022. He has announced a total allocation of Rs. 35,984 crore for the sector.
Here’s how the budget aims at helping the ailing Indian farming community:
– Total allocation for agriculture and farmers’ welfare is Rs. 35,984 crores.
– Nominal premium and highest ever compensation in case of crop loss under the new crop insurance scheme called the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna
– Rs. 5,500 crore has been allocated for the new insurance scheme in 2016-17
– “Need to move beyond food security and give farmers an income security”, says Jaitley, adding that the income of farmers will be doubled by 2022.
– 5 lakh acres to be brought under organic farming over a three year period
– Rs. 412 crore allocated to organic farming in the budget 2016-17
– A long-term, dedicated irrigation fund worth Rs 20,000 crore to be set up under NABARD
– Rs 17,000 crore allocated for irrigation schemes in the financial year 2016-17, and Rs. 80,600 crore in the next five years
– To spend Rs. 60,000 crore for management of water resources
– Rs 19,000 crore to be allocated for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana to construct roads and enhance connectivity
– Rs. 38,500 crore – highest ever allocation to MNREGA, government’s rural employment scheme
– Soil Health Card scheme will cover all 14 crore farm holdings by March 2017
– 2,000 model retail outlets of Fertilizer companies will be provided with soil and seed testing facilities during the next three years
– Unified Agricultural Marketing ePlatform to provide a common e- market platform for wholesale markets
– Rs. 850 crore for four dairying projects – ‘Pashudhan Sanjivani’, ‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’, ‘E-Pashudhan Haat’ and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds
– Rs. 15,ooo crore towards interest subvention to reduce the burden of loan repayment on farmers