Mumbai: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime has made a change to assure farmers that all commodities cost at least 1.5 times the cost of production.
During his third budget speech in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said: “Our government is committed to the welfare of farmers. The MSP regime has made a change to assure a price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production on all commodities. The procurement has also continued to increase at a steady pace, this has resulted in an increase in payment of farmers, substantially.”
The farmers have been opposing three newly constituted agricultural laws since 26 November on various borders of the national capital. Discussing in detail the increase in farmers’ payments, the Finance Minister said that in case of wheat, the amount paid to farmers in 2020-21 was Rs 75,875 crore, while in 2019-20 it was Rs 62,802 crore.
In case of paddy, farmers were paid Rs 1,72,752 crore as compared to Rs 1,41,930 crore in 2019-20, while in case of pulses, the amount was estimated at Rs 10,530 crore in 2020-21, 2019- 8,285 crore in 20 as compared to Rs.
She further explained that thousands of mandis would be integrated with ENAM (National Agricultural Market).
“About 1.68 crore farmers are registered and the trade value of Rs. 1.14 crore has been done through e-NAM, National Agricultural Market. Keeping in mind the transparency and competitiveness of that eNAM has brought into the agricultural market, thousands more mandi will be integrated with the eNAM,” she said during her speech.
Sitharaman also announced that the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund will be made available to the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) to augment their infrastructural facilities.
Recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swamiatva’ scheme, under which a record of rights is being provided to the property owners of the villages, Sitharaman informed that 1.80 lakh property owners in 1,241 villages have been given property cards.
She also proposed to extend this scheme during 2021-22 to cover all states and Union Territories.