With Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposing several initiatives to increase the income of farmers in Budget 2018, former prime minister Deve Gowda on Thursday said the measures announced may not be sufficient.
Jaitely, during his Budget sppech, 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.
"The Finance Minister has tried to make improvements for farmers but the problems of farmers and rural people are enormous. Measures may not be sufficient," Gowda told news agency ANI.
Earlier, Congress leader Manish Tewari dubbed the Budget as a "lip service to farmers".
If market prices are lower than MSP, government would procure farm produce or ensure farmers get right prices, Jaitley 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.