As the Indian economy recovers from the blow from the COVID pandemic, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the annual budget for FY 21-22 in the Parliament on Monday.
The FY22 Budget was based on 6 pillars, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman listing the following as main pillars of Budget 2021 – health and wellbeing, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive growth, human capital, research & development and lastly minimum government and maximum governance.
Announcing several measures for the agricultural sector, the Finance Minister assured that the Modi government is committed to farmers’ welfare.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Union Budget for 2021-22 said that agriculture credit has been enhanced to Rs 16.5 lakh crores.
Procurement has also continued to increase at a steady pace. This has resulted in increase in payment to farmers substantially. In case of wheat, total payment paid to farmers in 2013-14 was Rs Rs 33,874 cr. In 2019-20 it was Rs 62,802 cr. In 2020-21, it was Rs 75,060 crores: FM— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2021
“MSP has gone through a sea change. Over Rs. 75,000 crore paid to wheat farmers in 2020-21, 43.36 lakh benefited from this,” FM Sitharaman added pointing out how Modi government has increased allocation for public procurement over the last few years. The Finance Minister also said that the amount paid to paddy farmers Rs 1.72 lakh crore in 2020-21.
The Modi government has also increased Rural infrastructure fund to Rs 40,000 cr. Micro-irrigation corpus doubled to Rs 10,000 crores, and Agriculture infra funds will be made available to APMCs.
Sitharaman spoke about thrust provided to the farm sector by various measures on credit, market reforms and food processing under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat announcements. An increase in area under irrigation, adoption of usage of hybrid and improved seeds, variety replacement ratio and augmentation in seed testing facilities will also help address low productivity concerns in the agriculture sector, the FM noted. Adequate storage and remunerative markets for agricultural produce will be the main focus of post-production management.
These announcements made by the Finance Minister comes at a time when the farmers from Punjab are protesting against the three farm laws passed by the Modi government. Recently, the tractor rally carried out by the protestors turned violent when the rioting mob broke police barricades and attacked cops with swords and tractors. The holy Sikh flag was also unfurled at Red Fort after desecrating the national monument.