A day before the union budget, President Pranab Mukherjee’s economic survey tried to address issues largely related to the poor, oppressed, needy, youth and the farmers.
He drew a parallel to the Champaran Movement of pre-independence, which marked the rise of the indigo farmers against the British colonial government. He compared it to the poor’s struggle against black money.
At the heart of his speech Mukherjee focused on the upliftment of farmers, digitise them and facilitate them with more benefits.
He said that the government will focus on issuing 200 million RuPay cards, and said that 30 million Kisan credit cards will be converted to RuPay cards, which the farmers can use to buy seeds, fertilizers and farming equipments.
However, the President did not the mentions limited towards a cashless dole out. He talked about insurance being given to 3.66 crore farmers, worth Rs 1.4 lakh crore.
He also added that the corpus of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) fund has been doubled to Rs 41,000 crore to ensure easy credit access to farmers.
Assuring that the government will continue to focus on irrigation, Mukherjee said that the government has already provided micro irrigation to 1.2 lakh hectares.
“The focus will be in making available affordable credit, ensuring assured supply of seeds and fertilisers, improving irrigation facilities, comprehensive risk coverage, improving productivity through Soil Health Cards, assured market and remunerative prices for the produce through e-NAM (National Agriculture Market),” Mukherjee said.