Procurement under MSP cut as government plans Kisan drones

The Union Budget 2022-23 has cut crop procurement under the Minimum Support Price compared with the last year.
Representational Image (File photo | Express)
Representational Image (File photo | Express)

NEW DELHI: The Union Budget 2022-23 has cut crop procurement under the Minimum Support Price compared with the last year. While presenting the Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said procurement of wheat in Rabi 2021-22 and the estimated procurement of paddy in Kharif 2021-22 would amount to 1,208 lakh metric tonnes. “This will cover 163 lakh farmers and Rs 2.37 lakh crore direct payment of MSP will be credited to their accounts,” she said.

According to Jan Kisan Andolan, a farmers’ group, in 2020-21, Rs 2.87 lakh crore was spent on procurement of 1,286 lakh metric tonnes of food grains at MSP. A close look at the 2021-22 Budget speech disclosed that nearly Rs 2.84 lakh crore was spent on procurement of foodgrains, including wheat, paddy and pulses, till January 2021. On the contrary, this year’s Budget has not mentioned procurement of crops other than wheat and paddy.

Keeping in mind that agriculture is a fundamental part of India’s recovery process and a crucial sector of the Indian economy, the Union Budget 2022-23 proposed Rs 1,32,513.62 crore for the agriculture sector, a marginal hike of 4.5 per cent as compared to the last year. The Budget also stressed to promote ‘kisan drones’ for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides, delivery of digital and hi tech services to farmers.

While the agriculture credit target is Rs 18 lakh crore for the next fiscal compared to Rs 16.5 lakh crore in the current year, the Budget allocation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) is proposed to be Rs 15,500 crore in the current fiscal as compared to the Rs 15989 crore last year. Similarly, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi ( PM-Kisan) has been allocated Rs 68,000 crore as against Rs 67,500 crore in 2021-22.

The finance minister further said the government will promote chemical-free natural farming throughout the country with a focus on farmers’ lands in the five-kilometre-wide corridors along river Ganga in the first stage. For the delivery of digital and high-tech services to farmers, she said the government will launch a scheme of public-private partnership (PPP) model with the involvement of public sector research along with private agri-tech players and stakeholders of Agri value chains.

The Budget has proposed Rs 19,500 crore for modified Interest Subvention Scheme; Rs 1,500 crore for Market Intervention Scheme and Price Support Scheme. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Man Dhan Yojna is allocated Rs 100 crore. Jai Kisan Andolan founder Yogendra Yadav said, “With this anti-farmer budget, the Union government has yet again betrayed the farmers of India. The government has conveniently forgotten about doubling the income of farmers, while it has made alarming cuts to the budgetary allocation for agriculture and the schemes related to farming.”

Rs 19.5K cr for interest subsidy scheme
The Budget has proposed Rs 19,500 cr for modified Interest Subvention Scheme; Rs 1,500 cr for Market Intervention Scheme and Price Support Scheme. PM Kisan Man Dhan Yojna has been allocated Rs 100 cr. The budget proposes Rs 500 cr for forming 10, 000 Farmer Producer Organisations; Rs 500 cr for Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and Rs 100 cr for National Beekeeping Honey Mission

National highways to be expanded by 25,000km in 2022-23
National highways will be expanded by 25,000km during 2022-23 and the national ropeway development programme will be taken up in the public-private partnership mode. Contracts for the implementation of multimodal logistics parks at four locations through the PPP mode will be awarded in 2022-23. Rs 20,000 crore will be mobilised through innovative ways of financing.

Hike in funds for village roads; drop in rural allotment
Allocation to the rural roads construction scheme has been raised by 36 per cent to Rs 19,000 crore compared to last year, whereas the total allocation to all centrally sponsored schemes under the rural development ministry dipped around 11 per cent. Total allocation under the Rural Development Ministry including MGNREGA, declined to Rs 1,35,944.29 crore in 2022-23 from Rs 1,53,558.07 crore last year.

Farm credit target increased to Rs 18 lakh crore
The government has increased the agricultural credit target to Rs 18 lakh crore for the 2022-23 fiscal from Rs 16.50 lakh crore for the current fiscal. For next year, our target is Rs 18 lakh crore for the agricultural credit. This year, the target was Rs 16.50 lakh crore out of which 75 per cent has been disbursed. About Rs 7.36 lakh crore agri-credit has been disbursed to farmers during the first six months of the 2021-22 fiscal.

All 1.5 LAKH post offices to GET core banking SYSTEM
All 1.5 lakh post offices in India will be connected to the core banking system that will enable people to access their account online and also transfer money within post office accounts and to other banks. In 2022, 100 per cent of 1.5 lakh post offices will come on the core banking system enabling financial inclusion and access to accounts through net banking, ATMs and also provide online transfer of funds.

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