Budget Impact on Agriculture Sector
Our Finance minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has announced different schemes for thedevelopment of the agriculture sector in the Union Budget 2009 – 2010. This includesschemes like financial support on interest available for short term crop loans, increase inallocation for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY), Food Security Bill, etc. The target foragriculture credit flow has been increased to Rs. 3,25,000 crore.
The target for agriculture credit flow
2009 – 2010 (Current year) 2008 – 2009 (Last Year) Rs. 3,25,000 crore Rs. 2,87,000 crore
Schemes are mentioned in detail below;
The financial support on interest available for short term crop loans up to Rs. 3 lakh perfarmer will continue and an additional support of 1% will be paid from this year to thosefarmers who repay such loans on schedule. Thus, the interest rate for these farmers willcome down to 6% per year.Under the farm loan waiver scheme of Rs.71,000 crore implemented in the last budget, thetime for paying 75% of over dues has been extended to 31st December, 2009. A Taskforce isbeing set up to suggest the course of action regarding farmers of some regions of Maharashtra who have taken loans from money lenders and the loan waiver scheme did notcover them.The allocation for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) is being stepped up by 30 per cent andthat for speed up Irrigation Benefit Programme by 75% over the allocation last year.To ensure balanced application of fertilizers, the Government intends to move towards anutrient based subsidy regime instead of the current product pricing regime. It will lead toavailability of innovative fertilizer products in the market at reasonable prices and attractfresh investments in this sector. In due course, it is also intended to move to a system of direct transfer of subsidy to the farmers.The Finance Minister announced that the draft Food Security Bill will soon be put on the netfor public debate and consultations. The proposed National Food Security Act will ensurethat every family living below the poverty line (BPL) in rural or urban areas will be entitledby law to 25 kilos of rice or wheat per month at Rs. 3 per kilogram.We need a separate budget for agriculture just like we have it for railways. Outmostimportance has to be given to agriculture to promote usage high tech technology, increaseland ownership, help conserve water and connect Indian farmers with national as well as