The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has welcomed the budget for its focus on the farm sector, saying the small farmers will benefit from the proposals.
In the full-year budget, the new government should focus on the market linkage infrastructure, including warehousing and processing of farm produce, Nabard chairman HK Bhanwala told PTI on Friday.
"There are lots of welcome measures in the interim budget, including interest subvention, apart from the widely- talked about basic income support, which will also be beneficial to the smaller farmers," he said.
The interest subvention of up to 5 per cent for fisheries and animal husbandry will help farmers as these are the immediate allied activities which the agriculturists take up, Bhanwala said. More importantly, it will also help women as they are associated very closely with animal husbandry.
While many analysts are welcoming the basic income of Rs 6,000 per annum for those with holdings of less than 2 acres for its positive impact on consumption, Bhanwala said the money can also be ploughed in for inputs, leading to better productivity.
He said farmers can use the money to be delivered directly into bank accounts for buying seeds, fertilizers or some implements as well.
Bhanwala said many states have digitised land records and hence it will not be very difficult for the government to identify the beneficiaries.
The scheme, to be funded entirely by the Centre, will involve an annual outgo of Rs 75,000 crore.
There was expectation of such a scheme in the run-up to the budget ahead of the national polls, which is modelled closely on a similar scheme being implemented by Telangana. Odisha also has a similar move which has already been implemented.