Perfect roti, kapda and kisan budget
Finance Minister Arun Jaitleys last pre-poll Budget was one of the most keenly awaited events in recent times. Almost everyone on the streets expected huge sops, fiscal stimulus and even Income-Tax cuts, moves that were seen as big pull factors in an election year. The hopes of the middle class may have been dashed, with no cuts in I-T, but Jaitley has gone all out to empower the hinterland with a series of measures that will go a long way in improving the quality of life in rural India.
Mera Gaon, Mera Desh, in fact, seems to be the underlying theme of this years Union Budget. With his various measures, he seems to have taken a big leap forward in addressing issues of roti, kapda and kisaan. It is certainly good for the agriculture sector, particularly those at the bottom of the pyramid. The FM had the dual task of reflecting the governments intent of promoting rural growth with job creation and taking forward its various social measures and initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Digital India and Make in India.
The single biggest positive of this years Budget is its kisaan focus. With this Budget, the government has reiterated its promise of doubling the farmers income by 2022. Be it the 150 per cent increase in MSP for crops or the support to organic farming, doubling the expenditure allocation to Rs 1,400 crores for the food processing sector or liberalisation of agricultural exports, allocation of Rs 10,000 crore to fisheries, animal husbandries and related infrastructure or ensuring farmers better access to formal mandis, this Budget has ticked all the right boxes when it comes to improving the lives of people in our villages