Annual agri-budget scales up 5-fold to Rs1.25-La-Cr since 2014: PM
Annual agri-budget scales up 5-fold to Rs1.25-La-Cr since 2014: PM

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, February  24, that India's annual budget for agriculture has increased five-fold to Rs 1.25 lakh crore since 2014 and that his government is concentrating on the development of the farm sector and working in mission mode to lessen the import dependence of food items like edible oils.

Speaking during a post-budget webinar on "Farm and Cooperatives," the prime minister said, his government is seeking thoughts and proposals for the successful execution of the initiatives outlined in the Union Budget 2023 during the second of a series of 12 post-budget webinars. Modi also discussed the various initiatives stated in the budget to entice young talent into the industry and the growth of the cooperative sector around the nation.

In order for the country to become "atmanirbhar" and for the money utilised for imports to reach farmers, he emphasised that numerous decisions are continually being made in the budget to support the agricultural sector. He said the agricultural budget, which was less than Rs 25,000 crore in 2014, has climbed to more than Rs 1.25 lakh crore currently, highlighting the priority accorded to the farm sector in the budget as well as budgets of the previous 8 to 9 years.

The budget for the agriculture sector was less than Rs 25,000 crore when we took office in 2014. While he discussed the various components of the Union Budget 2023–24, the Prime Minister stated that the country's agriculture budget currently exceeds Rs 1.25 lakh crore.He said, "every Budget in recent years has been dubbed a budget for Gaon, Gareeb, and Kisan." He noted that India's agriculture sector has been in trouble ever since independence and emphasised how reliant the nation is on foreign nations for food security.

The prime minister gave a few examples of expenses related to agriproduct imports. He said that Rs 17,000 crore, Rs 25,000 crore, and Rs 1.5 lakh crore respectively were spent on the import of edible oils, pulses, and value-added food products in 2021–2022 respectively. He estimated that the value of agricultural imports to be over Rs 2 lakh crore.

PM Modi also discussed the various budgetary decisions being made to support the agricultural industry. He highlighted initiatives like raising the minimum support price (MSP), encouraging the production of pulses, increasing the number of food processing parks, and pursuing the goal of becoming totally self-sufficient in terms of edible oil. He also praised farmers for changing India's agricultural landscape by making the country a "atmanirbhar" and enabling food exports.

Today, India exports a wide range of agricultural goods, according to Modi, who also noted that the government is working to make farmers' access to both domestic and foreign markets easier. He added that whether it comes to exports or self-sufficiency, India's ambition should not be restricted to rice or wheat. The Prime Minister emphasised that until the issues pertaining to the agricultural sector are resolved, the objective of full development cannot be attained.

Also, he noted that private innovation and investment are avoiding this industry, which results in low young engagement in agriculture in India compared to other industries that see active participation and growth. He claimed that several announcements were made in the most recent budget to close this gap. The Prime Minister also discussed the use of drones to estimate crop sizes while delivering real-time weather updates.
In his detailed remarks, Modi also addressed the planned accelerator funds for agri-tech businesses in the Budget that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivered to the Lok Sabha on February 1.

The PM said, the government is planning financial opportunities in addition to building digital infrastructure. He exhorted the youngsters and up-and-coming businesspeople to proceed and realise their objectives. He stated that compared to almost nothing nine years ago, India now has more than 3,000 agri-startups.

About the International Year of Millets, the Prime Minister stated that Indian farmers now have access to the worldwide market thanks to its international recognition.

The Prime Minister said, "The country has now designated coarse grains as Shri Anna in this budget." He claimed that Shri Anna is being supported in order to help our small farmers and to improve the potential for startup businesses in this industry to thrive. Modi also outlined the many measures the administration has taken to advance the nation's cooperative sector.

"A new revolution is happening in India's cooperative sector," he declared. The cooperative movement is now taking hold across the entire nation and is no longer restricted to specific states or geographical areas. He mentioned that the budget had included tax breaks for the cooperative sector, which will help newly created cooperative societies involved in manufacturing.

He said, cooperative societies will not be charged TDS for cash withdrawals up to Rs 3 crore. The tax exemption granted to payments made by the sugar cooperative prior to 2016–17 was also noted by the prime minister, who claimed that it will provide the cooperative with benefits worth Rs 10,000 crore. The PM also discussed the Gobardhan and PM Pranam Yojanas, which are government initiatives aimed at encouraging organic farming and eliminating chemical-based agricultural.

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