During today’s budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reaffirmed the Centre’s intentions aimed at the welfare of farmers. Although, at various intervals, the opposition’s members raised their voices in criticism of the recently passed farm bills, trying to outshout Sitharaman as she spoke. Despite this, the 2021 Budget speech was delivered and the finance minister restated the Centre’s reassurance for the farmers in response to the protests and rioting in and around Delhi.
Sitharaman also guaranteed that the current Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will continue as it has before and no suspension or curtailment shall hold it back. She also spoke about a part of the budget being set aside in the form of an agricultural fund, to be spent on APMC infrastructure.
Aside from agriculture, Sitharaman also brought up some new initiatives that would help the economy recover from the degradations brought by the coronavirus pandemic. She also recalled Narendra Modi’s hope for doubling the earnings of farmers in her speech, stating the MSP had already been raised by half of its original and larger quantities of paddy and wheat were being purchased by the government under MSP.
The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund has been risen to Rs 40,000 crore along with the Micro Irrigation Corpus which is now set at Rs 10,000 crore. This is the nearly the double of the previous budget. The agricultural credit target for 2021-22 now aims for Rs 16.5 lakh crore. Finance Minister Sitharamna revealed that approximately 43.36 lakh wheat-growing farmers managed to benefit from the MSP scheme, compared to last year’s 35.57 lakh. Rs 75,100 crore were spent in MSP in this fiscal year.