Congress dubs Budget 2018 as as a 'lip service to farmers'
With Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposing several initiatives to increase the income of farmers in his Budget, Congress leader Manish Tewari on Thursday dubbed it as a "lip service to farmers".
"The govt has attempted to pay lip service to farmers and to other marginalised sections of society but it is a classical case of too less and completely at the inappropriate time," Tewari told news agency ANI.
Jaitely firmly asserted the NDA government's resolve to double farmers income along with massive economic aid packages. He said that the Minimum support price (MSP) for all upcoming Kharif crops would be 1.5 times the cost of production.
If market prices are lower than MSP, government would procure farm produce or ensure farmers get right prices, he said in his Budget speech.
He also proposed hiking the agricultural credit target for the next fiscal by Rs 1 lakh crore to a whopping Rs 11 lakh crore. The target was Rs 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15 and has been gradually increasing under the NDA government, he said.
Jaitley said that 470 mandis (wholesale market) have been electronically linked under e-NAM (National Agriculture Market) programme out of 585 mandis. The remaining will be linked by March 2018.