As we know the general elections for the 17th Lok Sabha are scheduled in 2019. So this will be the last full budget of Modi government of its first term in office. Which will be presented by Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. A day after the Economic Survey is tabled in Parliament; the Union Budget will be presented on February 1, 2018.
This budget is expected to be special as it is presented in a year when eight state assemblies will go to polls and is the last one before the 2019 general elections. Eight states include – Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan, and Tripura that will be going to poll this year. For this reason, the budget is expected to be populist in nature. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget speech on February 1 will be beneficial for farmers. Following is the list of expectations from farmers.
Expectations of Farmers
- This Budget is assumed to be a pro-village, pro-poor and pro-farmer budget as it is expected that there will be a big change in the lives of the common and poor people.
- Since the Budget is coming at a time of a countrywide agrarian distress, it will have to have a pro-farmer tilt.
- More resources would be mobilized for agriculture and rural development.
- The upcoming budget is more about farmers, rural jobs, and infrastructure as it is making all attempts to follow a fiscal prudence path.
- The government will be reducing agrarian distress by not promising any hike in minimum support price for crops.
- The target for agricultural credit in 2017-18 has been fixed at a record level of Rs 10 lakh crores.
- It is also expected that the farmers will be benefited from 60 days’ interest waiver that was announced on 31 Dec 2016
- Government supports NABARD for computerization and integration of all 63,000 functional Primary Agriculture Credit Societies with the Core Banking System of District Central Cooperative Banks. This was done to ensure the flow of credit to small farmers. At the evaluated cost of INR 1,900 crores, this will be executed in 3 years.
- The successful Fasal Bima Yojana scheme’s coverage will be increased from 30% of the cropped area in 2016-17 to 40% in 2017-18 and 50% in 2018-19. For this, a budget provision of Rs 9000 crore has been decided.
- 100% coverage of all 648 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) is expected. New minilabs will be constructed in the country for soil sample testing.
- The Long-Term Irrigation Fund was already announced by the Prime Minister in NABARD.
- The motto of ‘per drop more crop’ will be achieved under dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund in NABARD with an initial corpus of Rs 5,000 crores.
- The government will be expanding the coverage of National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) from 250 markets to 585 APMCs. Rs 75 lakhs will be provided to every e-NAM as the assistance package.
- In NABARD, Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund has decided with a corpus of Rs 2000 crores. This will be increased to Rs 8000 crores in upcoming years.