Without doubt, the biggest announcement in the Interim Budget was the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi. The new scheme will provide structured income support to farmers at a cost of Rs 75,000 crore.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, a structured income support for farmers - especially small and marginal farmers - in the Interim Budget of 2019. Farmers with up to two hectares of land will be eligible to benefit from a direct income support of Rs. 6,000 per year.
Amidst the cheers of 'Jai Kisan,' Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said,
"This initiative will benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers at an estimated cost of Rs 75,000 crore. It will enable farmers to earn a respectable living."
With General Elections just a few months way, the Narendra Modi government has been focussed on relief measures for farmers. Prior to the Interim Budget announcement, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said,
“The last five budgets have been dedicated to the farmers. The government's sixth budget will also be for the farmers. It will empower them."
Farmers whose income has been affected due to natural disasters will be compensated and those who repay their loans on time will be rewarded.
“Instead of rescheduling of crop loans, farmers severely affected by natural calamities will get 2 percent interest subvention and an additional 3 percent interest subvention upon timely repayment,” Goyal said in the Lok Sabha.
Health cards, quality seeds and irrigation facilities will also be arranged. Apart from this, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all 22 crops has been revised in favour of farmers.
“High farm production and productivity will be achieved through modern agricultural practices and value addition,” the Minister added.
To realise this vision, the government will focus on producing food organically and exporting them via modern practices such as cold storage.
A look at the past Budget
The Union Budget of 2018 also had a slew of measures to boost agricultural production. Former Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced new projects as well as enhanced support for existing schemes to the tune of Rs. 14.34 lakh crore.
These measures included an increase in the Minimum Support Price to the farmers to be 1.5 times the production price. A Rs 10,000 crore fund was set up for fisheries and animal husbandry and to increase agriculture exports to $100 billion, linkages with 42 food parks was proposed to be created.