The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday announced a steep 24% increase in the total allocation for the rural, agriculture and allied sectors in the budget announcements for 2017-18, committing a sum of nearly Rs 1.9 lakh crores for farmers and rural India.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley pinned the exact allocation at Rs 1,87,233 crores as he lauded farmers for their “resilience in the current year”. Owing to a good monsoon in 2016, the agriculture growth rate is expected to be 4.1 per cent this year.
Jaitley announced a slew of measures for rural folk and farmers -- who are expected to have the brunt of the demonetisation of high value currency notes announced in November 2016 the most – as he frequently evoked Mahatma Gandhi during the budget announcements. These steps include providing electricity to all villages by May 1, 2018 and allocating a record Rs 48,700 for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, the world’s largest rural employment programme run by a government.
“For a good crop, adequate credit should be available to farmers in time,” Jaitley said while announcing the target for farm credit has been target fixed at a new high of Rs 10 lakh crore.
The government also committed itself to building 10 million pucca houses for the poor by 2019 while promising to pull out an equal number of people out of poverty in the next fiscal. Announcing drought proofing for villages, the government will build 500,000 more ponds to an adding to equal number built last year.
For more updates on the Union budget 2017, click here