By Dr U S Awasthi
“Our sincere thanks to the Prime Minister, Sh. Narendra Modi and Finance Minister, Sh. Arun Jaitley for presenting a budget with a focus on Agriculture and rural economy. We at IFFCO welcome the budget and consider it as ‘Path breaking’ because it has given the much needed impetus to the Agriculture sector, the backbone of Indian economy.
Allocations such as 500 crore for Operation Green, corpus of 10,000 crore for Fishery and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund and Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Fund, Rs 11 lakh crore for institutional credit for farm sector among others would definitely help farmers of the nation to get the necessary funding.
Policies such as implementation of MSP for all crops; being hiked to 1.5 times of production costs, linkages of APMCs with ENAM and aim to develop 22,000 Gramin agricultural markets and liberalisation of agricultural products export will boost up help farmers morale with more incomes at their hands and help in the growth of agrarian economy. Making Direct Benefit Transfer a reality would also provide the farmers the much required flexibility in terms of money, choice and decisions.
Technology has always been an enabler. One lakh gram panchayats have already been connected through broadband. Focus on linking more villages through broadband and creating hundreds of wifi spots to make internet available to households in rural areas too augur well for fast tracking of the development process.
Programmes such as Ujjawala Yogna, Saubhagya Yojana, will help in the overall living standards of these people. Further, 100% tax deduction for the first five years to companies registered as farmer producer companies with a turnover of Rs. 100 crore and above would help attract more companies to enter into farm producing.
These steps will definitely work towards generating higher income for Indian farmers, and generating employment. As this is the last proper budget before the country goes for election, these budget announcements are welcoming which focuses on strengthening agriculture and the rural economy. These would work towards government’s aim to double farmers’ income by 2020.”