Decline in Budget allocation for agriculture disappointing: HD Deve Gowda

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) MP HD Deve Gowda on Monday said that decline in overall allocation in Budget has disappointed many who were expecting an increase in outlay for the agriculture sector.

Participating on the Motion of thanks on the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, he said that there has been decline in budget allocation for the farm sector disappointing everyone. The allocation for agriculture in 2022-23 witnessed a decline of 3.8 per cent as compared to the last fiscal.

Today India’s economy is an agrarian economy that involves 50 per cent of the workforce of the country and contributes 70 per cent to the GDP, Deve Gowda said.

He also said that 82 per cent of the farmers are marginal and small farmers with an average of 1.08 hectare land holdings.

Noting that if the country has to progress economically, it will happen only through the agriculture sector by giving priority to this sector by the government.

Despite all odds like climate change, flood, drought and declining ground water level, Deve Gowda said that the farmers of the country produced 305 million of food gains and 320 million tons of fruits and vegetables in 2020-21 with an average growth of 2.3 per cent.

Speaking further, he demanded that the Goods and Service Taxes (GST) be removed from all the farm products and the processed food products. “The subsidy on the petroleum products have been reduced and this will affect the farmers income and reduce the margin of profits for farmers,” the JD(U) lawmaker said.

Samajwadi Party MP Sukhram Singh Yadav asked the government to have the caste census done soon as this will reveal the exact number of the castes in OBC category. He also said that Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and even RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav have demanded for caste census but the government did not pay any heed to it.

BJP MP Jaiprakash Nishad said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath provided medicines and other necessity commodities to the people of the state during the pandemic while the central government gave free ration to 82 crore of the poor of the country during pandemic period which will be continued till March 2022.

During the debate on the motion of thanks, YSR Congress MP V Vijayasai Reddy (YSRCP) raised issue of special category status for Andhra Pradesh. He said that ABJP government gave the Special category status to Uttarakhand but denied it to his state. “There cannot be one rule for BJP-ruled states and another for non-BJP rules states,” he commented.

BJP lawmaker Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, while speaking in debate, said that this government has done a lot for the betterment of the poor in the country.

“Opposition alleged that newspapers are ours, but in the past three months, of the 30 editorials in Times of India, Indian Express and The Hindu, 25 articles have criticised the government,” he said.

Slamming the opposition on the PM Cares Fund, he said that this fund has been utilised in a proper way.

“This is not like the Disaster relief Fund which was chaired by a chief of a political party we are surprised that how a party chief can be chairperson of a government fund”, he quipped.

Talking about the politics of performance and politics of prejudice, Shashtrabuddhe said that the Opposition should have praised the programme such as Vibhishika Diwas and Veer Bal Diwas which this government has instituted.

Referring to the foreign exchange reserve, he said: In 2014, when our government took over, the reserve was 313 billion Us dollar which is now over 600 billion US dollar. We have given subsidy of 6.50 lakh crore to the fertiliser sector.”

The power generation in a year is now 1280 billion units while the road construction has increased by 30 percent, he added.

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