Budget 2019: Farm relief package of Rs 75,000 cr targetted at small and marginal farmers, says Finance Secretary

Along with the relief package for farmers, the government has initiated a range of measures to boost agriculture.

FP Staff February 02, 2019 14:48:57 IST
Budget 2019: Farm relief package of Rs 75,000 cr targetted at small and marginal farmers, says Finance Secretary
  • In the interim Budget 2019, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced a relief package of Rs 75,000 crore

  • The government will transfer a sum of Rs 6,000 per year to farmers who own up to two hectares of land

  • Assured income will be transferred via Direct Benefit Transfer in three equal instalments

Farm relief is only for small and marginal farmers, not all of them, said AN Jha, Finance Secretary at the CNBC-TV18 Budget Townhall on Saturday. He was talking about  the announcement in the interim Budget 2019 on farm package and Universal Basic Income (UBI) to farmers.  He said it is premature to talk about UBI at the moment. It is not on the table yet, he added.

In the interim Budget 2019, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced a relief package of Rs 75,000 crore. This comes under a new scheme PM Kisaan Samman Nidhi for distressed farmers who have seen their incomes stagnate because of plunging prices, barely enough to pay for loans and input costs. As part of the package, that includes an income support scheme, the government will transfer a sum of Rs 6,000 per year to farmers who own up to two hectares of land.

“Assured income to be transferred via Direct Benefit Transfer in three equal instalments. This will be funded directly by the government of India,” Goyal said while presenting the interim budget 2019-20.

The scheme will be applicable from  1 December 2018, and will benefit 12 crore farmers.

Budget 2019 Farm relief package of Rs 75000 cr targetted at small and marginal farmers says Finance Secretary

Pic Courtesy: CNBCTV18 Twitter

Sharing his thoughts on measures for farmers, Amitabh Kant CEO of NITI Aayog said that the government has initiated a range of measures to boost agriculture. He said, states need to do a lot of structural reforms with regards to agriculture. However, Kant was confident that agriculture package can be rolled out very quickly.

Presenting the Budget 2019-20, Goyal referred to some announcements made earlier for the benefit of the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector.

“Recently, a scheme of sanctioning loans up to Rs 1 crore in 59 minutes has been launched. GST-registered SME units will get 2 per cent interest rebate on incremental loan of Rs 1 crore,” Goyal said.

He further said that soon, businesses with less than Rs 5 crore annual turnover comprising over 90 percent of GST payers will be allowed to file quarterly return.

A committee meeting is being held on 8 February headed by Revenue and Commerce Secretaty to ease the issues of SMEs, said PK Das,  PK Das, Chairman of CBIC, adding that three special refund drives were organised to ease the crunch due to GST. An apex committee is already in place to deal with SME issues, he said.

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