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“Zero Budget For Farmers, Proves Our Apprehension”, Say Farmer Unions

*Budget for Agriculture slashed from Rs.1.54 lakh cr to Rs.1.48 lakh cr

*Agriculture’s share in Total budget falls from 5.1% to 4.3%

*Atma Nirbhar Bharat stimulus a sham: Nothing for farmers from Rs.1 lakh crore Agri Fund

India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—Stating that there was “zero budget for farmers in the Union Budget-2021”, farm leaders and organisations, who are demanding repeal of the three controversial farm laws enacted by the Narendra Modi government, have said there was nothing in the Union Budget-2021 for farmers and this had proved their apprehensions.

 In reaction to the budget, the farm leaders said that budget proposals, instead of strengthening agriculture, indicates that the Modi government “is on a path of withdrawing support to agriculture”.

In a statement issued after presentation of the budget, the leaders said that despite huge protest all over the country by farmers and their organisations, Modi government had given the lowest priority to agriculture in this budget.

Stating that the share of agriculture in the total budget had fallen dramatically from 5.1 per cnt to 4.3 per cent, the allocation in absolute terms has also fallen from Rs. 1.54 lakh crores to Rs. 1.48 lakh crores.

Kirankumar Vissa of Rythu Swarajya Vedika said that the government was moving in the direction of withdrawing its support to farmers.

He said that the budget had nothing to offer on major issues faced by farmers – ensuring Minimum Support Prices(MSP), access to market infrastructure, effective crop insurance when they face losses due to natural calamities, and rural employment through MGNREGS – the Budget has nothing to offer.

“The allocation for PM-AASHA scheme, he said, has been cut from Rs.4000 crores in 2018-19 to Rs.400 crores now, and the PSS-MIS scheme (price support and market intervention) has been cut from Rs.3000 crore to Rs.1501 crores in the past 3 years, whereas these are the only two schemes for the government to ensure that farmers get the MSP”, said Vissa.

He said that cutting the budget on schemes linked with providing MSP to farmers, showed that “the government has no commitment to MSP despite rhetoric”.

“This is the reason why the farmers are demanding legal guarantee for MSP”, Vissa pointed out.

He said that farmers suffered a loss of more than Rs.50,000 crores in a year because of the shortfall of prices below MSP.

Yogendra Yadav, President of Swaraj India said that the Modi had promised to double the farmers income by 2022 but the budget presented today was completely silent  about how much the income of farmers had increased and how much increase was  needed further to double the farmers’ income that was in 2014.

He said that the allocation to MGNREGS should have been at least Rs.1 lakh crores, instead, it is only Rs.73,000 crores, even though it has been the lifeline for crores of workers in the rural areas, especially during the lockdown and ongoing economic crisis.

He accused the Modi government of using the ongoing economic crisis as “an opportunity to implement economic reforms that corporate India has been demanding.”

Decrease in Allocations:

• PM-KISAN from Rs.75,000 crores to Rs.65,000 crores

• PSS-MIS from Rs.2000 crores to Rs.1501 crores

• PM-AASHA from Rs.500 crores to Rs.400 crores

• Interest Subsidy from Rs.21,175 crores to Rs.19,468 crores

• Distribution of Pulses from Rs.800 crores to Rs.300 crores

Under-spending in previous year:

• Total Agriculture & Allied budget: only Rs.145,355 crores spent out of Rs.1,54,775 crores

• Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana: Only Rs.7954 crores spent out of Rs.11,127 cr

• “Green Revolution” scheme: Only Rs.10,474 cr. out of Rs.13,320 cr.

• MIS-PSS scheme: Only Rs.996 crores out of Rs.2000 crores.

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