ECONOMY
BUDGET DHAMAKA
Modi Govt declares MSP will be as per Swaminathan panel recommendation
- PT Economic Desk
Modi Govt declares MSP will be as per Swaminathan panel recommendation




NEW DELHI, February 1: IN A CLEAR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of the crisis being faced by India's farmers, the Narendra Modi government finally capitulated and declared it will implement a key proviso of the MS Swaminathan Commission on Farmers of ensuring a Minimum Support Price for crops equivalent to cost plus 50 per cent profit.

"The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops shall increase to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced in his Budget Speech.
 
In another significant announcement that will interest Punjab's government, particularly the farm sector, Arun Jaitley also said the Centre will aid the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab to curb air pollution by subsidising the removal of crop residue.

The issue has assumed acute proportions due to the pollution caused by crop residue burning in these states.
 
Jaitley focused on the farm sector in the very first part of his Budget Speech and reiterated that the Modi government's focus "is on productive and gainful on-farm and non-farm employment for farmers and landless families."

He conceded that agricultural produce "has improved remarkably in the last year because of the hard work and tireless efforts of farmers in the country."
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"The Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops shall increase to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced in his Budget Speech.
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The Narendra Modi government has been at the receiving end for its claims of economic growth when juxtaposed with its farm sector crisis. While India is a 2.5 trillion economy and the government claims it is expected to become the 5th largest economy very soon, the recent Economic Survey released earlier this week has detailed the stagnation in farm incomes and an adverse effect on farm sector on account of climate change.

Jaitley also reiterated the government’s clarion call to double farmers’ income by 2022, a promise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that has come in for much debate in the backdrop of deepening farm crisis, continued suicides by farmers, including in Punjab, and the government's unwillingness to come up with a route map to achieve this goal.

Jaitlety also announced an allocation of Rs 22000 crore for infrastructure in agriculture, the launch of Operation Green to ensure agriculture growth and said agriculture exports have been liberalised in the country.

BJP’s alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal will have further reason to feel elated as Jaitley acknowledged that the food processing sector was growing at 8% per annum. SAD’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal is the Union minister for Food Processing, to whose ears Jaitley’s words must have been music as he announced doubling of allocation for the food processing industry.
 
He said the government will set up a fund of Rs 2,000 crore for developing agricultural markets and announced allocation of Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation green,’ which will promote processing facilities, professional management among other things. 
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Centre to give aid to Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to curb air pollution by subsidising the removal/treatment of crop residue.
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The govt will set up state of the art facilities in 42 mega food parks, Jaitley said, adding that the Agriculture Ministry will reorient its schemes, and focus on promoting cluster-based approach to be adopted for agricultural production. 

The government will now move forward from Ease of doing business and focus on ‘ease of living’ for the common people, says Jaitley.

Jaitley reiterated that India will grow at 7.2-7.5% in the second half of the 2017-18, but also pointed to a "premium of honesty” in the country, claiming that the Modi government is allocating resources in a more transparent manner. 
 

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