Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden budget promises to keep ‘Gaon, Garib aur Kisan’ (Villages, Poor and Farmers) in the centrestage of every reform.
The government has proposed to increase budget allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare by over 78 percent to Rs 1.39 lakh crore for the current fiscal, out of which Rs 75,000 crore will be for the flagship scheme PM-KISAN, according to the budget document.
The government had allocated Rs 77,752 crore in the revised estimate for 2018-19.
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Here Are Few of the Promises for Rural Sector in Budget 2019:
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed setting up of 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) to ensure economies of scale for farmers over the next five years.
- She said every single rural family, except those unwilling to take connection, will have electricity and LPG connection by 2022.
- She said that making available safe drinking water to every citizen is a priority for the government which is working towards 'Har Ghar Jal' by 2024.
- As much as 1,25,000 km of roads will be upgraded under Pradhan Gram Sadak Yojana under Phase III at estimated cost of Rs 80,250 crore, the finance minister added.
- The government also proposes to build 1.95 crore houses under Pradhan Mantari Awas Yojna (Rural), Sitharaman said, adding 100 new clusters will be set up in 2019-20 to enable 50,000 artisans to come into economic value chain.
- She stressed on the need to replicate Zero Budget Farming, to go back to basics, which Sitharaman said will help in doubling farmers income.
- "We will invest widely in agricultural infrastructure. We will support private entrepreneurships in driving value addition to farmers' produce from the field and for those from allied activities, like bamboo and timber from the hedges and for generating renewable energy," she said.
- Stating that annadata can also be urjadata, the minister said that dairying through cooperatives should also be encouraged by creating infrastructure for cattle feed manufacturing, milk procurement, processing and marketing.
- To harness potential in the fishery sector, the government proposed a Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to establish a robust fisheries management framework and check gaps in the value chain.
- To ensure fair price to farmers, the minister said that the Centre will work with state governments to allow farmers to benefit from electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) which was launched in 2016. "The Agriculture Produce Marketing Cooperatives (APMC) Act should not hamper farmers from getting a fair price for their produce," she said.
- The government aims to connect all 2.5 lakh village panchayats with high speed broadband by March 2020.
- She further said that to take connectivity infrastructure to the next level, the government will build on the successful model of 'One Nation, One Grid'.
- She proposed to make available a blueprint this year for developing gas grids, water grids, information-ways, and regional airports.
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