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This Budget Misguides And Hides

Photo Credit :

Ajay Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj

Budget reveals the government intent to increase agriculture production, but unfortunately this budget will not increase farmer prosperity. National Mission on food processing is being established which will help in diversification of agriculture and along with tax incentive to the private sector to provide extension services will be a boon for agriculture producers. By giving incentives for increasing fertiliser production capacity in India, there is hope to reduce dependence on imported fertilisers.  

This budget misguides and hides more than it reveals. Direct subsidy to farmers has been announced like last year but no action has been taken yet. Wide definition of the term Agriculture credit creates misconceptions of the enhancement by 1 lac crores to 5.75 lac crores. Increase in budget of agriculture  ministry by 18 per cent to 20,000 crores and is not extra ordinary. Allociation increase for Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Yojna is impressive but the scope of RKVY also increased and the fund allocation does not offset the increased scope of activities. 60 per cent of India is dependent on rainfed agriculture and is not prioritised.

Funding for agriculture universities and agriculture R&D has been announced but there is no mention of removing bottlenecks of transferring existing knowledge to the farmers. The budget can only do so much for the farmers as agriculture is a state subject. Without accompanying agriculture reforms and policy changes the budget will remain just that; numbers and disappointment.