Narendra Modi government 2.0 announced its first budget on Friday, where Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made some significant announcements on the agricultural sector.
The budget was expected to announce schemes for ushering in a "blue revolution". The farming sector looked upto the Bharatiya Janata Party for its promise of allocating Rs 10,000 crore for providing infrastructure like storage and marketing for small fishermen.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday said the government will invest widely in agriculture infrastructure and support private entrepreneurship for value addition in the farm sector.
Presenting the Union Budget for 2019-20, Sitharaman said the government proposes Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana to address the critical infrastructure gap in the fisheries sector.
As much as 1,25,000 km of roads will be upgraded under Pradhan Gram Sadak Yojana under Phase III at an estimated cost of Rs 80,250 crore, the finance minister added.
In the first Budget of the Modi government in its second term, she also said that 30,000 km roads were constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna using green material, including plastic waste.
All weather road connectivity was provided to 97 per cent of habitation, she added.
The government also proposes to build 1.95 crore houses under Pradhan Mantari Awas Yojna (Rural), Sitharaman said, adding 100 new clusters will be set up in 2019-20 to enable 50,000 artisans to come into the economic value chain.
Stressing that the government keeps villages, poor and farmers at centre stage in every programme, she said every single rural family, except those unwilling to take connection, will have electricity and LPG connection by 2022.
Free LPG scheme and electricity connection have transformed rural India, Sitharaman said.
She also said that time taken to complete construction of houses under PMAY cut to 114 days from 314 days in 2015-16, due to use of DBT platform technology.
Prices of all commodities remained unchanged in the wholesale foodgrain market today.
Following are the wholesale rates of various agri-commodities (rates in rupees per quintal, unless stated otherwise):
Thoor Dal Rs 9,200
Urad Dal Rs 8,400
Moong Dal Rs 8,500
Gram Dal Rs 5,800
Sugar Rs 3,500
Wheat Rs 3,000
Maida (90 kg) Rs 3,000
Sooji (90 kg) Rs 3,100
The national mission on vegetable oil is in line with the efforts to curb huge imports to encourage domestic industry and oilseed growers.
The focus on drip irrigation along with fertigation in the Budget will be the outcome of Prime Minister Modi's close friendship with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Biima Yojana (Prime Minister's Crop Insurance) scheme will be improved with a likely allocation of Rs 14,000 crore.
Proposals for having 10,000 new Farm Producer Organizations (FPOs), a comprehensive plan to bring two crore hectares under micro-irrigation and new agriculture warehouses along national highways are also on the cards, said sources.