Union Budget 2021-22: FM Sitharaman proposes 9 measures for Agriculture, allied sectors


New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday proposed 10 percent hike in the farm loan disbursal target to Rs 16.5 lakh crore in the Union Budget 2021, and introduced an agri-infra and development cess of up to 100 percent to create post-harvest infrastructure for improving farmers’ income. In a slew of steps to support the Agriculture Sector Sitharaman announced 9 measures for Agriculture Sector.

FM Sitharaman proposed to extend SWAMITVA Scheme to all States/UTs.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had launched SWAMITVA Scheme to bring transparency in property ownership in villages. Under the Scheme, a record of rights is being given to property owners in villages. Up till now, about 1.80 lakh property-owners in 1,241 villages have been provided cards.

Agricultural credit target enhanced to Rs 16.5 lakh crore in FY22

To provide adequate credit to our farmers, the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2021 enhanced the agricultural credit target to Rs 16.5 lakh crore in FY22. Smt. Sitharaman further said that the Government will focus on ensuring increased credit flows to animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries.

 
33% increase Rural Infrastructure Development Fund

The Finance Minister also announced the enhanced the allocation to the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund from Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore.

 
Micro Irrigation Fund doubled

Sitharaman proposed to double Micro Irrigation Fund, started with a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore under NABARD, by augmenting it by another Rs 5,000 crore.

 
Operation Green Scheme – ‘TOPS’ to include 22 more perishable products

To boost value addition in agriculture and allied products and their exports, Smt. Sitharaman proposed to increase the scope of ‘Operation Green Scheme’ that is presently applicable to tomatoes, onions, and potatoes (TOPS), to be enlarged to include 22 perishable products.

1,000 more mandis to be integrated with e-NAM

The Finance Minister said that around 1.68 crore farmers are registered and Rs 1.14 lakh crore of trade value has been carried out through e-NAMs. Keeping in view the transparency and competitiveness that e-NAM has brought into the agricultural market, the Finance Minister proposed to integrate 1,000 more mandis with e-NAM to bring transparency and competitiveness.

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APMCs to get access to Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

The Finance Minister proposed to make available the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund to APMCs for augmenting their infrastructure facilities.

To develop 5 major fishing harbours proposed

FM Sitharaman proposed substantial investments in the development of modern fishing harbours and fish landing centres. The Finance Minister said that to start with, 5 major fishing harbours – Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip, and Petuaghat – will be developed as hubs of economic activity. Smt. Sitharaman also proposed to develop inland fishing harbours and fish-landing centres along the banks of rivers and waterways.

Multipurpose Seaweed Park to be established in Tamil Nadu

Recognising the potential in Seaweed farming. the Finance Minister said that it is an emerging sector with potential to transform the lives of coastal communities – it will provide large scale employment and additional incomes. To promote seaweed cultivation, Smt. Sitharaman proposed a Multipurpose Seaweed Park to be established in Tamil Nadu.

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Sagar Biswas

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