Pension for small and marginal farmers and small traders could soon be a reality as the BJP is likely to increase its focus on social security after sweeping to power. BJP in its poll manifesto had promised to introduce a pension scheme for all small and marginal farmers once they turn 60. Similarly, a social security net and sops for small traders were also promised.
After sweeping to power, BJP is expected to increase its focus on social security, with the farm income transfer scheme set to be expanded to include farmers with land holdings of over five acres. According to a report, BJP leaders say social security along with building infrastructure is going to be the main theme of the new government.
BJP poll manifesto has already mentioned about Rs 1 lakh crore investment in the core sectors to build 60,000 km of highways, strengthen the rail network and improve port connectivity. “All we need to do is step up investment from the current level. Getting money for this is never a problem,” the ToI report quoted a cabinet minister in the current government as saying.
The BJP government has faced criticism over growing farm distress, so the real challenge will be for the new agricultural minister. The publication said the government machinery is already gearing up for more investment in the sector to improve the overall financial condition of farmers.
Also, in his second term, Modi will seek to improve tax compliance. It may be noted that after becoming PM in 2014, Modi’s first decision was to set up the SIT on black money. The focus on tax evaders remains a top priority for the government but the idea is to make the authorities less intrusive, the daily quoted finance ministry officials as saying.