Budget 2023: No funds, horticulture sector left in lurch

Non-allocation of Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) has steeply decreased the Department of Consumer Affairs budget by 85%. 

Published: 03rd February 2023 08:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2023 08:14 AM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Budget has marked the end of the flagship scheme of price stabilisation of horticulture crops started by the government in 2014-15. The Budget has failed to earmark any funds for it. The government had allocated Rs 1,500 crore in the previous year’s Budget, but it remained unspent. 

Non-allocation of Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) has steeply decreased the Department of Consumer Affairs budget by 85%. The Budget allocation is only Rs 250 crore, whereas the previous year Budget estimation was Rs 1,724 crore.

The government re-started the PSF in 2014 with much fanfare to help farmers and consumers. The PSF is meant to absorb the volatility of selected commodities such as tomatoes, onions and potatoes.

Experts say the non-allocation of the fund is another blow to distressed farmers.

“The Budget is already silent on the MSP. The government is abandoning farmers at the mercy of market forces to face price volatility,” says Devinder Sharma, agriculture policy expert.

Gurnam Singh Charuni of Bhartiya Kisan Union has termed it as another round of tricks against farmers. A Department of Consumer Affairs official said the government may allocate funds in the time of immediate need.


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