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Big farm push expected in first Budget of Modi 2.0

A big push to the farm sector is expected on Friday in the first budget of the Modi government ‘s second innings.

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who will present her maiden Budget, is likely to fulfil many of the promises made by the Prime Minister during his toiling poll campaign culminating in the historic mandate.

Taking forward the setting up of a separate ministry for fisheries (one of the promises made by Modi), the Budget will have schemes for ushering in a “blue revolution”. The BJP’s promise of allocation of Rs 10,000 crore for providing infrastructure like storage and marketing for small fishermen is likely to be fulfilled.

Giving incentives to agriculture exports, launching of national vegetable oil mission, improving flagship crop insurance scheme, massive promotion of Israeli drip irrigation technique and directing major chunk of MNREGA spending on water-related projects are some of the other proposals the government has lined up in the Budget, said sources.

The farmers will be looked after well in the Budget as the government will seek to ensure they get better prices for their produce. The focus of Modi government will be on water (as underlined in the setting up of a separate Jal Shakti ministry) as the Budget is likely to include a proposal to spend 75 per cent of rural employment guarantee scheme MNREGA allocation on water-related projects as has been the focus in the last five years.

The national mission on vegetable oil is in line with the efforts to curb huge imports to encourage domestic industry and oil seed 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.



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