Nirmala Sitharaman Talks Of Zero Budget Farming, Allocation Up By 78%

In her speech presenting the Union budget in parliament, the finance minister underscored the need to "go back to the basics, which will help double farmers' income".

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Nirmala Sitharaman Talks Of Zero Budget Farming, Allocation Up By 78%

Nirmala Sitharaman said the ease of doing business and ease of living should apply to farmers too. (FILE)


New Delhi: 

Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the country needs to replicate "zero budget farming" as part of the government's plan to help farmers double their income. In her speech presenting the Union budget in parliament, the minister underscored the need to "go back to the basics, which will help double farmers' income".

The minister said the Centre will work with the state governments to allow farmers to benefit from eNAM or the National Agriculture Market, which is an online trading platform for agricultural commodities in India.

"The ease of doing business and ease of living should apply to farmers too," she added.

The government has proposed to increase the budget for agriculture ministry by over 78 per cent to Rs 1.39 lakh crore for the current fiscal, of which Rs 75,000 crore will be for PM-Kisan - the government's flagship cash support scheme for farmers. Under the scheme, launched just before the general elections, the government is giving Rs 6,000 annually to 12.6 crore small farmers in three installments of Rs 2000 each.

The government also plans to increase allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana or PMFBY to Rs 14,000 crore - up from Rs 12,975.70 crore in the last financial year. This supports 5.61 crore farmers.

The allocation for Minimum Support Price has also been hiked by Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore. It will come into play during price drops through Market Intervention Scheme and Price Support Scheme (MIS-PSS).

For short-term crop loans, the government has earmarked Rs 18,000 crore for interest subvention against Rs 14,987 crore in the 2018-19 financial year.

Similarly, the allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Yojana will be raised by Rs 100 crore to Rs 1,500 crore.

From the earlier Rs 2,954 crore, the government plans to raise the budget allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana to Rs 3,500 crore.

To implement 18-odd central schemes under the "Green Revolution" umbrella, budget allocation is projected to be increased to Rs 12,560 crore for 2019-20 as against the revised estimate of Rs 11,802 crore for the 2018-19.



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