Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime has undergone a change to assure price to farmers that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities.
During her third budget speech in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said: "Our government is committed to the welfare of farmers. The MSP regime has undergone a change to assure price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities. The procurement has also continued to increase at a steady pace, this has resulted in an increase in payment of farmers, substantially."
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws.
Elaborating on the increase in payment of farmers, the Finance Minister informed that in case of wheat, the amount paid to farmers in 2020-21 was Rs 75,875 cr, as compared to Rs 62,802 cr in 2019-20.
In case of paddy, the amount paid to farmers was estimated to Rs 1,72,752 cr as compared to Rs 1,41,930 cr in 2019-20, while in case of pulses, the amount in 2020-21 was estimated at Rs 10,530 cr, as compared to Rs 8,285 cr in 2019-20.
She further informed that thousands of mandis will be integrated with eNAM (National Agricultural Market).
"Around 1.68 crore farmers are registered and Rs 1.14 crore trade value has been carried out through e-NAM, the national agricultural market. Keeping in view the transparency and competitiveness of that eNAM has brought into the agricultural market, thousands more mandi will be integrated with the eNAM," she said during her speech.
Sitharaman also announced that agricultural infrastructure funds would be made available to the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) for augmenting their infrastructural facilities.
Recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swamitva' scheme, under which a record of rights is being provided to property owners of villages, Sitharaman informed that up to 1.80 lakh property owners in 1,241 villages have been given property cards. She also proposed to extend this scheme during 2021-22 to cover all states and Union Territories.
On animal husbandry, she announced: "To provide adequate credit to our farmers, I have enhanced the agricultural credit target to 16.5 lakh cr in this year. We will focus on ensuring credit flow to animal husbandry, dairies and to fisheries."
She also proposed substantial investments in the development of modern fishing harbours and fish landing centres. Five major fishing harbours - Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Petuaghat will be developed as hubs for economic activities.
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