Government committed to welfare of farmers, consumers: Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that central government is giving utmost priority to the welfare of farmers, migrant workers and consumers and the Union Budget 2021 takes care of the people who are at the bottom of the pyramid.

While addressing a press conference here, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal said this budget has special provisions for the poor, farmers and migrant workers, those who provided support to the nation in difficult times.

He said the budget of 2021-22 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses the confidence of India and all set to spread a new wave of “Atma Nirbharta” across the globe.

Goyal said, “Union Budget 2021 touches the life of common man. The budget takes care of the poor who is at bottom of the pyramid. This budget instils a new hope for new India.”

The Food Minister said that MSP payment to the farmers remained at an all time high during 2020-2021 as Rs. 75000 cr were paid as MSP for wheat procured in the last season benefiting 43.46 lakhs farmers while Rs 1.72 lakh crore were paid as MSP for paddy to 1.54 crore farmers.

Stressing on digitisation and modernisation in PDS, the Minister said that procurement and distribution is being done in the most transparent manner.

Goyal applauded the efforts of the both Departments under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution during Covid-19. He expressed his happiness that the departments successfully implemented schemes for distribution of free foodgrains to NFSA beneficiaries and Stranded Migrant labourers during this period.

Mentioning the implementation of Consumer Protection Act- 2019, he said that this act has replaced the 33 year old act and it significantly strengthens the rights of consumers and have several new features including simplification of complaints filing, dispute adjudication process & alternate dispute resolution mechanism.

Goyal said that under this act the sale of adulterated and spurious goods will be strictly acted upon and this act provides regulation for the unfair trade practices in e-commerce.

He said that the allocation for sugar industry significantly increased to about 6,000 crore and the government has allowed to export 60 lakh tone of sugar and Rs 6 per kg as subsidy is directly paid in the account of sugar cane farmers. The diversion of excess sugar and utilization of foodgrains to ethanol for blending with petrol will help in timely payment to sugarcane farmers and increase income of farmers and also to make India self-reliant in petroleum sector, he added.

Goyal said that the One Nation One Ration Card scheme is a big success and presently, an average of about 1.5 Crore portability transactions (both inter-State and intra-State transactions) are being recorded every month. He further informed that integration of remaining 4 States/UT (Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and West Bengal is targeted up to March 31, 2021. But it will depend upon the technical readiness of the States/UTs in terms of availability of ePoS devices and operationalisation of biometric authentication of beneficiaries. The department is continuously coordinating with these State/UT Governments, said the Minister.