New Delhi: Agriculture continues to be the main driver of the rural economy. Our hard-working farmers, supported by pro-farmer policies of our Government in the past four and half years, have produced agriculture commodities in record quantities. This was stated by the Union Finance Minister, Mr Piyush Goyal in his budget speech at the Parliament.
Finance Minister further said that the declining prices of agricultural commodities in the international market and fall in food inflation in India since 2017-18, relative to non-food sector, have however, reduced the returns from farming. “Small and fragmented land holding on account of repeated divisions has also contributed in decline in the income of the farmer family. Hence, there is a need for providing structured income support to the poor land-holder farmer families in the country for procuring inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, equipment, labour etc. and to meet other needs. Such support will help them in avoiding indebtedness as well and falling into clutches of money lenders.”
To provide an assured income support to the small and marginal farmers, Government is launching a historic programme namely “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)”. Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs 6,000 per year. This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 each. This programme will be funded by Government of India. Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this. The programme would be made effective from 1st December 2018 and the first installment for the period upto 31st March 2019 would be paid during this year itself. This programme will entail an annual expenditure of Rs 75,000 crore.
Agriculture ministry gets mega boost
The Budgetary allocation of the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Ministry has been raised by around 2.5 times from Rs 58,358 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 1,41,174.37 crore in 2019-20. Comparing five year period, during UPA government (2009-14), it was Rs 1,21,082 crore and during Modi government (2014-19), it is an increase of 74.5% to Rs 2,11,694 crore. In fact, the budgetary allocation of Rs 1,41,174.37 crore in 2019-20 is 16.6% more than Rs 1,21,082 crore during UPA (2009-14).
Micro Irrigation Fund – Rs 5000 crore
Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) – Rs 10,881 crore
Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund – Rs 2000 crore
Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) – Rs 7522.48 crore
Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) – Rs 2477.52 crore