Parkash Singh Badal terms Budget 'courageous' for agriculture
(4 months ago)
Chandigarh, Feb 1 : Five-time former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday hailed the Union Budget as farmer friendly and people-oriented.
In his reaction to the annual Budget presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday, Badal said that linking MSP (minimum support price) with cost of production, emphasis on agricultural exports, value addition of farm produce through increased outlay for food processing industry and focus on rural economy and development are the unique features of this Budget.
Badal congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley for "courageously introducing a priority-shift in governmental investments into agriculture and rural sectors", especially the commitment to ensure MSPs equal to 1.5 times of the farmers' cost in investment.
"This is the first concrete step towards meeting the goal of implementing the Swaminathan Commission recommendations of ensuring 100 per cent profits on farmers costs on production. The budget carries the stamp of Jaitley's concern for farmers in general and for Punjab farmers in particular," Badal said.
"For the first time since 1947, the Government of India has institutionalised its commitment to the growth of agriculture and farmer's welfare into a budgetary promise. When pursued to its logical conclusions, this will truly prove to be a revolutionary step forward towards inclusive development as farmers constitute the bulk of India's population and agriculture provides the bed-rock for India's fast developing economy," Badal pointed out.
The former Chief Minister said that the clause for fixing MSP in consultation with the states, especially the predominantly agricultural states, is a huge step forward. Badal also hailed the focus on liberalising exports of agriculture-based products as these would help in securing a good market price for farmers' produce.
"It is gratifying to see the union government's emphasis on value addition of agriculture produce. The 100 per cent increase in outlay for food processing industry in the country would indeed prove to be a big boon for farmers in general and for Punjab farmers in particular," he added.