Finance Minister Arun Jaitley looks to make farm incomes grow as he launches Operation Green initiative
It was expected Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would present a populist Budget this year given that it is this government’s last full Budget before the General Elections in 2019.
As expected, support for agriculture infrastructure has been increased with the total outlay for institutional credit for Indian agriculture proposed at Rs 10 lakh crore, up from Rs 8.4 lakh crore last year.
“It is good see the government focusing on e-NAM (electronic National Agriculture Market). It is important for farmers to get market prices and access to markets. It is good to see them push the agri sector to connect with food parks,” said Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Aarin Capital.
Jaitley added that the government was looking at increasing farm productivity and income, rather than just dole out sops. The government will, with the sops announced for the agriculture sector, look to increase exports from the sector from $30 billion to $100 billion.
“What we welcome is the support for organic farming and the support price for farmers. Operation Green, if implemented, is going to make farmers get good prices,” says Ben Raja, founder of Farm Again.
Here are the key highlights:
Now what we need to see is how productive will farming become. It provides employment to 65 percent of the Indians, but contributes only 10 percent to the GDP.