Union Budget 2019-20 Agriculture Sector Expectation: The agricultural sector has been high on the Modi government’s priority list seeing its plans of supporting farmers either by additional income or financing arrangements.
Agriculture Budget 2019-20 India Expectations: The agricultural sector has been high on the Modi government’s priority list seeing its plans of supporting farmers, either by additional income or financing arrangements. Even in the interim budget, the government announced direct income support (DIS) scheme of transferring Rs 6,000 annually to small and marginal farmers. So, the farmers are expecting this budget to propose new schemes to boost agriculture sector, with an even bigger quantum and coverage than that seen up till now. The Union Budget 2019, therefore, has its task cut out.
The government must focus on structural support for agriculture and also ensure that MSPs reflect trading prices, Radhika Rao, Senior VP, Economist at DBS Bank said. Interestingly, the Union Cabinet has already approved higher support prices for kharif, or summer-sown crops, and a new labour code that will allow minimum wages to be paid by cheque or bank transfers to workers of both organised and unorganised sectors. The activation of e-NAM — the online trading platform for agri commodities — across the nation, would immensely help, said Rupa Rege Nitsure is a Group Chief Economist with L&T Finance Holding.
A section of agri experts also say that a lack of procurement of crops other than paddy, wheat and, to some extent, cotton, is skewed against much-hyped boost to nutri-cereals like sorghum and millets (which saw the highest-ever increase in MSP). The government also needs to work on this front so as to ensure that all farmers are adequately compensated.
The direct sale of agri produce, bypassing mandis, will also provide much needed boost to the farmers, PwC’s Ranen Banerjee said. The direct sale of farmer produce without going through mandis is something that will help food processing a lot, he added. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had started her pre-Budget stakeholder consultations for this year with a meeting on agriculture and rural development, and followed it up with another on trade and industry.