India’s budget allocation for agriculture remains unchanged at ₹1.3 trillion
- In the union budget presented by
Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister allocated ₹1.3 trillion to the agriculture sector.
- India’s agriculture sector, which employs nearly half of the workforce, accounts for nearly 16% of the GDP.
- Nearly 833 million Indians rely on agricultural practices to sustain themselves.
- India has seen nearly 300,000 farmer suicide since 1995, BBC reported.
During her budget speech, Sitharaman stressed on replicating ‘zero budget farming’ to go back to basics, which will help in doubling up farmers income in the coming years. “Ease of doing business and living should apply to farmers too,” she added.
The traditional practice of zero budget farming, which is already being implemented in several states in India, refers to no credit or expenses, and spending on external products for better fertility, according to UN Food & Agriculture Organisation.
The government will introduce 10,000 new farmer producer organisations, that will help build economies of scale for farmers.
Agricultural expenditure has increased multifold over the last five years. In 2018-19, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s total agricultural spending stood at ₹ 576 billion, which was later increased by 144% at the time of interim budget, allocating ₹1.4 trillion to the sector.
The interim Budget has allocated ₹18,000 crore for the interest subsidy and Rs 3,000 crore for the Market Intervention Scheme and Price Support Scheme (MIS-PSS).
India’s agriculture sector employs nearly half of the workforce, and accounts for nearly 16% of the GDP. Agrarian sector sustains nearly 833 million Indians, especially the rural population, according to IndiaSpend.
Owing to the impact of monsoons, remuneration of crops and fertilizers and the ongoing agricultural crisis in the country, the government also lured farmers, promising to double farmers income by 2022 earlier.
The whopping surge in the budgetary allocation may be attributed to the Income Support Scheme (ISS), which extended an annual income support of ₹6,000 to the farmers having up to 2 hectares of land. The scheme accounts for ₹750 billion of the government’s annual expenditure.
AdvertisementOver 60% of the total funds allocated to the agricultural ministry in 2018-19, was kept to be spent on the schemes proposed for farmers — Interest Subsidy Scheme (32%), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (28%), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (9%), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (8%), and National Mission of Horticulture (5%), according to the PRS report.
In contrast to this, the funds allocated to the agricultural ministry in 2013-14, at the time of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government stood at ₹270 billion.
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