The Chhattisgarh government has transferred a pending paddy bonus of Rs 3,716 crore to over 12 lakh farmers, providing a much-needed financial boost to the agriculture sector. This move comes at a time when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present the interim Union Budget on February 1, with a focus on enhancing the country’s food security and ensuring inclusive economic growth.
The upcoming budget is expected to see a significant increase in the allocation of various schemes aimed at raising production in the farm sector. The government has already disbursed over Rs 2.8 lakh crore to 11 crore farmers under the Direct Benefit Transfer system, with the money being deposited directly into their bank accounts in three installments over a year.
In line with the government’s policy to empower women, there are discussions to raise the amount given to female farmers to Rs 12,000, while male farmers may receive Rs 9,000. However, the exact numbers are still being worked out, considering the budget deficit.
The budget for 2023-24 had allocated Rs 1.25 lakh crore to the farm sector, and this outlay is expected to be increased in the interim Budget. An additional Rs 1.8 lakh crore is expected to be earmarked for providing fertilizer subsidies to farmers, while the outlay for the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) and schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and the formation of new Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) may also see an increase in allocations.
The interim Budget is also expected to focus on animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries, with various loan schemes being made available for these segments. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has assumed greater importance as freak weather occurrences due to climate change pose a higher risk to crops, and the scheme helps to safeguard farmers.
In the wake of the upcoming budget, there is a growing sense of optimism among farmers and experts that the government’s increased focus on the agriculture sector will lead to a significant improvement in the livelihoods of farmers and contribute to the overall growth of the economy. The measures being considered in the interim Budget to boost the agricultural sector are being widely welcomed and are expected to have a positive impact on the farming community.