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Budget: Big boost for MP farmers, middle class left out, say experts

The union budget may prove to be a boon for Madhya Pradesh as it promises a robust farm support system which will help farmers fight crop failures and discourage them from committing suicides, experts said on Monday.

bhopal Updated: Feb 29, 2016 19:53 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times
union budget,Arun Jaitley,Deen Dayal Antyodaya Mission
Industrialists and financial experts watching the union budget presentation on the big screen, in Indore on Monday.(Shankar Mourya/ HT photo)

The union budget may prove to be a boon for Madhya Pradesh as it promises a robust farm support system which will help farmers fight crop failures and discourage them from committing suicides, experts said on Monday.

However, industrialists complained of not getting much for the manufacturing sector. Some said Arun Jaitley couldn’t bring a major relief for the middle class.

However, all welcomed the decision to ease loan repayment burden of farmers with a provision of Rs 15,000 crore for interest subvention. Experts said the initiative to take every block under drought and rural distress under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Mission and allowing 100% FDI in marketing of food products would help the agrarian sector in the state, which has 55,000 villages and had seen an all-time low due to crop failures and 40-odd suicides in consequence in Bundelkhand.

They specially made mention of the union government’s budgetary initiatives, like pradhan mantri fasal bima yojana, pradhan mantri krishi sinchai yojana in which 28.5 lakh hectares would be brought under irrigation, sustainable management of ground water resources. Unified agriculture marketing e-platform for famers to sell their produce would certainly give a profit push to farmers in MP, they said.

Economist RD Sharma said, “Unlike the previous stress on subsidies, the initiatives aimed at improving the rural economy will go a long way in consolidating the agrarian economy in the state.” An allocation of Rs 87,765 crore for the rural sector, Rs 2.87 lakh crore as grant in aid to the gram panchayats and civic bodies, Rs 38,500 crore for MGNREGA and 100% village electrification by May 1, 2018 are some steps which would help provide a secured environment to farmers if implemented in the right spirit, he said.

Another big push comes in the form of budgetary outlay of Rs 2.21 lakh crore for rural infrastructure development and Rs 97,000 investment in the road sector. This is bound to work as an ease-of-business prop for the farmers in MP, where from pass many national highways which are used for transport of farm produce to and from markets. Poor road connectivity has been a big drawback for the farmers for long, experts said.

MP has the highest cattle population in the country. An allocation of Rs 850 crore for projects like Pashudhan Sanjivani, Nakul Swasthya Patra, e-Pashudhan Haat and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds, will help MP in improving this sector, experts said, adding that the state, with the largest production of pulses in the country, would also benefit with the budgetary provision of Rs 500 crore for pulses under the National Food Security Mission.

Vice-chairman of the state council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), CP Sharma, said the budget ought to have given a push to the manufacturing sector too.

Economist Sharad Jain too endorsed the view that the farm sector was bound to get a big push. But, all rural infrastructure development would boost industrialization in the state in terms of increase in related investments.

Middle class ignored: Cong

Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee president Arun Yadav tweeted, “ST (service tax) had been increased by 0.5% via new cess called Krishi Kalyan. Considering inflation, a middle class person is poorer than last year. “In another tweet, he wrote, “MGNREGA and Aadhar are 2 big takeaways from this budget. BJP opposed both when in opposition.”

Very positive Budget: CM

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted, “Very positive Budget. Focus on agriculture and infrastructure will definitely lead the economy to double-digit growth.” In another tweet, he wrote, “Interests of farmers, poor and vulnerable have been given due consideration. I congratulate finance minister Arun Jaitley for a visionary budget.”

First Published: Feb 29, 2016 19:39 IST