Seeking to address distress in the farm sector, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal Friday announced a 2 per cent interest subvention for farmers hit by natural calamities while offering 3 per cent more to them for timely loan payment.
Goyal, who stepped in to present the budget for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha in place of indisposed Arun Jaitley, also said also announced 2 per cent interest subvention for farmers involved in animal husbandry and fishery.
Farmers hit by natural calamities will get 2 per cent interest subvention and 3 per cent more on timely repayment of loans, he said.
Further, the finance minister said the government will provide Rs 750 crore to support animal husbandry and fishing.
He also said the government has fixed MSP for 22 notified crops at 50 per cent higher than the cost of production.
"Given the election year, it was widely expected that the Interim Budget 2019-20 will be a 'Populist Budget'. The budget has given more sweeteners than expected. Targeted towards the marginalized farmers, rural economy, workers in the unorganised sector, MSMEs, and low income earning population, this budget has addressed the bulk of the population which are most impacted by any turmoil in the economy. We believe that this will help in alleviating some of the stress in the rural sector, have a positive impact on consumption and kick-start the investment cycle. Given such an aggressive expenditure plan and deductions given in the direct tax with no new avenues for revenue collection, achieving the fiscal deficit target for 2019-20 seems ambitious. The latest data on fiscal deficit is that we will miss the target in FY19, the second year in a row and is not credit positive," said Manish Sinha, Managing Director, Dun and Bradstreet
There is a need for structured income support for poor, landless farmers to meet input cost, the FM said, adding that the government will also implement a special strategy for uplift of nomadic tribes.
He said the pension scheme for unorganised sector workers will be implemented from this fiscal.
High growth, formalisation of the economy has resulted in increased EPFO membership by 2 crore in last two years, he noted.