01 February 2024, New Delhi: The Union Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Tribal Affairs Minister Mr. Arjun Munda expressed his views on interim budget presented in the Parliament today. He said that this budget is a mirror of the guarantee of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi while rapidly paving the way for India on the path of development. He said that this interim budget is a reflection of the progress of the country’s farmers, poor, women power and youth power as Modi government has pledged for their development. He said that the various measures taken by the Modi government will definitely raise the standard of living of our farmers.
Mr. Munda said that Prime Minister Mr. Modi has pledged that the needs, aspirations and welfare of the poor, women, youth and farmers are our top most priority. The spirit of Sabka Saath-Sabka Vikas-Sabka Vishwas-Sabka Prayas is reflected in the interim budget. Many concrete steps have been taken one after the other for the welfare of farmers in the last few years. Among these, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme is very important, under which so far 11.80 crore farmers have got direct benefits and without middlemen, about Rs 2.81 lakh crore has been deposited into the bank accounts of the farmers with complete transparency. About 4 crore farmers have also been provided security cover through the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Similarly, 1361 e-NAM mandis have been started for the benefit of farmers, on which trade of Rs 3 lakh crore has been registered so far. Many such schemes have been implemented.
Union Minister said that the Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan is an important initiative of the government. Based on the initiative announced in 2022, a strategy will be prepared to achieve ‘atmanirbharta’ for oilseeds like mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, sunflower. This will include research for high-yielding varieties, widespread adoption of modern agricultural techniques, market linkages, procurement, value addition and crop insurance. Mr. Munda said that while supporting the farmers, the central government will promote private-public investment in post-harvest activities including aggregation, modern storage, efficient supply chain, primary and secondary processing and marketing and branding. He said that Nano DAP (fertilizer) will be expanded on various crops in all agro-climatic zones. A comprehensive program will be designed to support dairy farmers. While promoting fisheries, 5 integrated aqua parks will be established, while the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) will be taken forward.
Mr. Arjun Munda said that in the last decade, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mr. Modi, the country has moved rapidly on the path of progress. Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has mentioned about this in detail in the budget speech. The government has not imposed any tax burden on the public. The Indian economy has seen profound positive changes in the last 10 years. The people of the country are looking towards a bright future with hope. An ambitious plan like housing for all is noteworthy in this sense. 2 crore more houses will be built under PM Awas Yojana (Rural) in the next 5 years. Despite the challenges posed by Covid, the government is close to achieving the target of 3 crore houses under this scheme. Similarly, a scheme will be launched to help the middle class living in rented houses, slums, chawls and unauthorized colonies to buy or build their own houses.
The interim budget has announced the implementation of 3 major economic railway corridor programmes, namely: energy, mineral and cement corridors, Port Connectivity Corridor, High traffic density corridors. These projects, identified under PM Gati Shakti to enable multi-modal connectivity, will improve logistics efficiency and reduce costs. Expanding Ayushman Bharat, healthcare cover under the Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all Asha workers, Anganwadi workers and helpers. The target of making Lakhpati Didi has also been increased from 2 crore to 3 crore. 83 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) comprising 9 crore women are changing the rural socio-economic landscape with empowerment and self-reliance. Their success has helped almost 1 crore women to become Lakhpati Didi. Similarly, through rooftop solarization, 1 crore families will be able to get up to 300 units of free electricity every month. To increase the safety, convenience and comfort of railway passengers, 40 thousand ordinary railway bogies will be converted to Vande Bharat standards. Government is committed towards ‘Net-zero’ carbon emissions. In this direction, Viability Gap Funding will be provided for harnessing offshore wind energy potential for an initial capacity of 1 Giga-Watt to meet India’s commitment of ‘net-zero’ by 2070. Coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 metric tons will be established by 2030. This will also help in reducing the import of natural gas, methanol, ammonia. Phased blending of CBG (compressed biogas) in PNG for domestic purposes and CNG for transportation will be made mandatory. Financial assistance will be provided for purchase of biomass collection machinery to aid in collection. To promote green development, a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will be started. It will provide environment friendly options like biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs. As part of the healthcare reform, more medical colleges will be set up using the existing hospital infrastructure.
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